Former England captain, Nasser Hussain opines that the inconsistency of the English spinners as compared to their Indian counterparts was the key reason for their heavy 317-run loss in Chennai.
Nasser Hussain observed that the Indian tweakers – Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel in particular, who both bagged fifers each – got wickets on the back of their consistency, to bowl on a spot, and not from any otherwordly deliveries.
“If you’re asking me the main reason why England lost the Test match, I would say if you look at India’s main two spinners — Ashwin and Axar Patel — they were more consistent than the England spinners. If you compare that to how India’s two spinners bowled and the control of Ravichandran Ashwin, they didn’t do anything magical, they just jammed it in there ball after ball,” Nasser Hussain wrote in his column for Sky Sports.
The 52-year-old points out that while Dom Bess and Moeen Ali both have wickets to show in the Tests they have played so far – in Sri Lanka or in India – however, they have not been consistent; indeed, Dom Bess has been very fortunate to share some of the wickets – the Sri Lankan batters got out to rash shots while he got few lucky wickets against India.
“Even though they (England spinners) continue to get wickets, the biggest issue is the consistency in the spin department. It is not just this Test match, if you look back at Sri Lanka, Jack Leach and Dom Bess got wickets but Bess, in particular, was very inconsistent with his length.
“Ali got eight wickets (in 2nd Test) and he bowled some real beauties, like the one to bowl Virat Kohli in first innings and got him out twice in the game — but Mo himself will admit that in first innings, he didn’t quite have the control and 4-128 is not what you’re looking for on such a minefield for the spinners,” he added.
England need not moan about anything: Nasser Hussain
Nasser Hussain understands that the visitors may have been on the victim of a couple of incorrect decisions by the umpire, or the fact that the pitch in the second Test offered turn from the first session – however, the former captain advises Joe Root’s men to not lament on those issues. Instead, rectify their mistakes from the second Test; Hussain is confident that the current team, which has won its last 4 Test series, is capable of overcoming the Chennai loss.
“England need to dust themselves off, not moan about the pitch, the toss, DRS, umpires or whatever and just try and rectify and improve in the areas they were found short — and knowing this side, I think that is exactly what they will do,” he further added.