Former England cricketers-turned pundits Nasser Hussain and Rob Key want the Eoin Morgan-led unit to win the toss and bat first in at least one of the remaining two games of the ongoing five-match series against India.
The duo feels that batting first and successfully defending the target could further boost England’s preparations for the T20 World Cup which will take place in India later this year.
The ongoing series has thus far seen a repetitive pattern in the first three games where the team batting second has won on all three occasions.
“I would like to see this team bat first and try and defend it in these conditions. Then I think you know exactly where you are at,” said Rob Key on Sky Sports.
Key wondered if England would have been able to defend their target in the second game had Mark Wood featured in it.
Wood has been the standout bowler in the series thus far. The tearaway fast bowler has featured in two games and in both fixtures, he has rocked the Indian top-order thanks to some pretty hostile bowling in the powerplay.
“Had they done that in the last game, had Mark Wood been there instead of Tom Curran, who knows what might have happened? Because that was a different game today. There was no let-up for the Indian batsman. As soon as Mark Wood came on, they were under pressure like in that first game. I would like to see them defend like that,” said Rob Key.
Win the Toss & win the game? Or are the Toss winners just consistently playing better? #ENGvIND
Match 1 England toss win ✅
Match 2 India toss win ✅
Match 3 England toss win ✅
— Stuart Broad (@StuartBroad8) March 16, 2021
England might wait till the last T20I to bat first- Nasser Hussain
Nasser Hussain, on the other hand, agreed with Rob Key’s assessment. He, however, reckoned that Eoin Morgan might want to wrap up the series first before he tries the option of batting first.
“I think he might try and win the series first. You never know, you never second guess Eoin Morgan. Eoin just does things his own way. He just has a gut feel. He’ll speak to the analyst. He’s a winner; he wants to win. He wants to boost confidence in a country at a venue where the World T20 final is going to be at. So, I guess he wants to win first.” said Nasser Hussain.
The former English captain further added that if the visitors take an unassailable lead after the next match then Eoin Morgan might throw up the challenge to his batsmen to go out there and set-up a match-winning first innings total.
“Maybe in the last game, he goes to his team and not change the team too much and say ‘Oh, we’re going to try a few people.’ You never know though, sometimes he just leaves himself out of the last game. But just say ‘Right. If we lose the toss in a World Cup final at this venue against this side, we have to bat first. Go and show me how we are going to do it and get an above-par score’” said Nasser Hussain.