Nasser Hussain, the former England captain-turned commentator, has come down hard on Joe Root and England bowler’s tactics of employing the short-pitch stuff against Mohammad Rizwan in the post-Lunch session of the second day of the 2nd Test.
Muhammad Rizwan launched a brilliant counterattack against England bowlers, who resorted to the short-pitch stuff after having dismissed eight Pakistani batsmen for 176. Rizwan’s counterattacking knock of 60 helped Pakistan post 9-223, which Nasser Hussain feels could well turn out to be a challenging score in the end. The former England captain also added that he England bowlers bowled as if they were bowling to Virat Kohli or Steve Smith.
”Here really was no need to do anything differently. If they had carried on as before, bowling the accurate lines and lengths that had reduced Pakistan to 176 for eight, they would have bowled them out for well under 200. It wasn’t as if they were bowling to Virat Kohli or Steve Smith, guys who routinely bat well with the lower order. This was Mohammad Rizwan we’re talking about — a Test novice with one half-century before this, trying to make his way in English conditions,” Nasser Hussain wrote in Daily Mail.
”So why did England have five men on the boundary and why did they start trying to bowl short and employ cunning plans when all they needed to do was keep aiming for the top of off-stump?” he added.
Nasser Hussain disappointed with England’s tactics against Mohammad Rizwan
Nasser Hussain, however, gave Mohammad Rizwan for the way he played but also added that he would have ‘enjoyed’ the fact that England resorted to short-pitch stuff.
”Well played to him but he would have enjoyed the fact England departed from the plans that had served them so well, especially after lunch, when they made a slight adjustment and bowled fuller with predictable results,” Nasser Hussain added.
Nasser Hussain further said that captain Joe Root will have to take criticism for sessions like these. He also added that senior pros like James Anderson and Stuart Broad should also cop some of the blame for the tactics employed by England.
“People will give Joe Root credit when England win — and they’ve won their last six Tests when he’s been in charge. But he’ll also understand that criticism will come his way for sessions like this,” Nasser Hussain said.
”Having said that, if my bowlers all average 25 or under in home conditions, as Broad, Woakes and Jimmy Anderson do, I’d want them to point out to me there shouldn’t be men on the fence when the No 10 is in. I’d want them to say, ‘I’m Stuart Broad, I’ve been bowling beautifully all summer and I’ve got more than 500 Test wickets to my name. I back myself to bowl normally to Rizwan and Mohammad Abbas and to get them out,’” he added.
Meanwhile, the third day of the 2nd Test ended in a washout thanks to persistent rain.