As England embark on two challenging Test tours in Asia, former captain Nasser Hussain assessed the side’s chances in Sri Lanka and India. Hussain believes England stand a good chance of winning in the Island nation but their life will certainly be difficult while facing the Indians.
After completing a two-Test trip to Sri Lanka in late January, the three lions will fly across to face India in a full tour, comprising four Tests, five T20Is and three ODIs. While the Tests on both tours will be part of the ongoing World Test Championship cycle, the ODIs in India will count towards the ICC Super League.
“India Will Be A Different Kettle Of Fish”: Hussain
Hussain feels Joe Root & company will need quality spinners if they are to replicate the performances of ex-captain Alastair Cook’s team in 2012 and upset India in India. Under Cook, England won their first Test series in India since 1984-85, with pivotal roles played by spin twins Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann.
“I’m optimistic about England’s chances in Sri Lanka but India will be a different kettle of fish,” Hussain told MailSport.
“There was Alastair Cook’s successful tour in 2012 and David Gower’s before that but not many England teams have won there.”
“If they are going to win in India one of the spinners will have to do what Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar did.”
England Will Need Extra Pace To Reclaim The Ashes In Australia: Nasser Hussain
“And if they are going to win in Australia they will need that extra pace of Jofra Archer, Mark Wood or Olly Stone,” said Hussain.
Hussain put the onus on Root to lead England from the front and score big runs. He feels it’ll be a true test of Root’s captaincy how England perform in Sri Lanka, India and later in the year, in Australia.
“An England captain can survive winning while not getting runs, or getting runs while not winning, but it is very hard to survive losing Tests while not making those big runs,” he said.
“Root has the ability to score big runs and set up those wins in this pivotal year.”
The first Test against Sri Lanka kickstarts on January 14 followed by the next one from January 22. Galle will host both the Test matches.
England will then travel to play India in a series beginning February 5. The first two Tests will be played in Chennai before the caravan moves to Ahemdabad for the last two games. The third Test of the series will be the first D/N pink-ball encounter between the two countries.