Former England captain-turned commentator Nasser Hussain has credited Indian skipper Virat Kohli for instilling toughness in his team, adding that India are no longer a team that can be bullied both on and off the field.
Hussain, in a conversation with fellow commentator and former teammate Mike Atherton and Ian Ward on Sky Sports, alluded to India’s triumph for the ages despite all the odds against them Down Under as a prime example of why should never try to bully the Men in Blue.
Despite having shot our for 36 in the second innings of the Adelaide Test and in the absence of Virat Kohli (paternity leave), and a whole host of injuries to their first-choice bowlers and not to forget the racial slurs that the liked of Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah encountered, Team India under the able leadership of Ajinkya Rahane not only breached the ‘Gabbatoir’ but also scripted consecutive Test series wins Down Under.
“Any side that can go to Australia, go 1-0 down after being bowled out for 36, lose Kohli because he’s going home on paternity leave, lose your bowling attack and still come back and win after some of the stuff that went on off the field in Australia, they won’t be bullied,” Nasser Hussain told Sky Sports.
“They (India) are a tough side. I think Kohli has instilled that. Make no mistake, at home, they are a formidable outfit.” he added.
Nasser Hussain further urged the Joe Root-led England to field their best XI against India in the upcoming series.
“That’s a really good sign that they’re doing that, with harder tasks ahead. The Ashes, India home and away, New Zealand confirmed, but that is great momentum and confidence going into an iconic series which is India away,” he said.
Nasser Hussain had earlier come down hard on England selectors after they decided to rest Jonny Bairstow for the first two Tests and Jos Buttler following the first Test in Chennai as part of the workload management of multi-format players.
“I was brought up in India and I’ve always seen India vs England as one of the great series – all I would have asked is turn up to Chennai with your best 13 to 15 players,” Nasser Hussain said.
“I think England fans have earned the right for their best team to be there that first day. If it means (Stuart) Broad and (James) Anderson playing together because it’s a bit green, worry about the Ashes down the line,” he added.
The much-awaited India-England Test series will kickstart in Chennai from February 05.