Former England captain, Nasser Hussain opines on the difference in batting approaches in ODI cricket between India and England, as it has been stark in the ongoing ODI series, which stands level after the visitors gunned down 337 runs in 43.3 overs in the second match.
Nasser Hussain observed that the Men in Blue tend to hold their wickets in the first 30 overs before starting to bat aggressively in the last 20 – as if they play two different innings. On Friday in the second ODI India was 142/2 at the 30th over mark, as compared to England’s 194-1.
Nasser Hussain reckons India’s traditional style of conservative batting to hold wickets for the final phase of the innings is outdated – something which Eoin Morgan’s side embraced post the 2015 World Cup debacle.
“India, with two of the greatest white-ball batters there have ever been in their top three — Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli — try to bat normally through the first powerplay. It’s not as if they are slouches when it comes to strike rates, but they take their time and soak up pressure. It’s old-fashioned, 50-over cricket from five years ago. It’s almost as if they are playing a 30-over game initially in which they are intent on keeping wickets in hand, followed by a Twenty20 innings,” Nasser Hussain wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
“Both these teams have very watchable batting line-ups, but there is an intriguing difference between them. While India play to get a par score most times, England look to go above par every time. They (India) see the game so differently. In contrast, England’s approach is to see each of those allotted 50 overs as an opportunity to score,” he added.
They are yet to introduce a hitter into their top order: Nasser Hussain
The 52-year-old points out that India’s refrain of playing attacking cricket from the outset of the innings needs to change as they have proper power-hitters in the lower-order. Nasser Hussain asserts that with Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli, India has three players who bat in a similar anchor fashion, and that they need someone like Ishan Kishan or Suryakumar Yadav who can bat with alacrity right from the start of his innings.
“On Friday, they were only two wickets down when they hit that final 20, and they know they have Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya in their middle order, who can go ballistic during that period. The problem with setting things up in this way for such a big last ten overs — even though India scored 126 — is that it invariably takes them to a par total.
“One of the reasons they still play like this is that they are yet to introduce a hitter into their top order — such as Ishan Kishan or Suryakumar Yadav. Another reason, perhaps, is that they know England are lacking their death bowlers, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes,” the former skipper believes.