Former England captain, Nasser Hussain opines that Eoin Morgan should ponder over changing tactics in regards to the positions of left-handers in the lower middle-order as India level the series in an 8-run victory in a thrilling encounter on Thursday.
England was on course to chase a big target of 186 runs in the 4th T20I when Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes were firing all cylinders for the 5th wickets. However, the 65-run partnership was broken with the right-hander’s wicket.
A couple of overs later, the 17th, their hopes of winning the game diminished when Shardul Thakur dismissed Stokes and skipper Eoin Morgan with consecutive deliveries – Thakur deceived both the left-handers with slower off-cutters as both were caught in the deep. Another left-hander, Sam Curran came in next and he too couldn’t get going before getting out for 3 runs off 5 balls.
England’s three left-handers just gave the momentum to India: Nasser Hussain
Nasser Hussain says that England needs to rejig their middle-order with plenty of left-hander’s in the line-up. Before Stokes, Morgan, and Curran, Dawid Malan, the number 1 ICC T20I batsman and another left-hander batted at number 3; Hussain reckons Malan’s scratchy innings of 14 runs off 17 balls piled up pressure on other batters.
“That middle-order needs looking at. Three left-handers going in one after the other, up against a bowler [Thakur], who finds bowling off-cutters to left-handers very easy. Malan at the top, using up deliveries, left the left-handers in the middle-order with a lot to do against a good death bowler,” Nasser Hussain said while speaking with Sky Sports.
The 52-year-old points out that while the trio of left-handers found challenging to hit the off-cutters from Indian pacers, the next two batters, Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan, both right-handers, were able to disturb Thakur’s slower and fuller ball tactic and manage to bring England close to victory till the last couple of balls.
“England’s three left-handers, coming in one after the other, just gave the momentum to India,” Hussain said. When the two right-handed lower-order batsmen, [Jofra] Archer and [Chris] Jordan, got in, Thakur couldn’t go to his off-cutter, he had to try something different, and that threw him a little bit,” Hussain explained.