Off The Field

James Anderson would have given some control in Hyderabad, says Nasser Hussain

Written by Sumit Seth

India were in total as they ended Day 2 with a lead of 175 runs in their ongoing first Test match against England, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad, on Friday. In response to England’s first innings total of 246, India reached 421/7 in 110 overs at Stumps as Ravindra Jadeja (81) and Axar Patel (35) remained unbeaten.

The visitors decided to go with four spinners, including Joe Root, and a seamer in Mark Wood. Meanwhile, Jack Leach was making his comeback. But it didn’t quite work out for Ben Stokes and Co. as eight of India’s batters got starts, three of them reached 80s and one of them remained unbeaten. There were also five half-century partnerships.

Despite having three frontline spinners, it was Joe Root who was the best. Root removed Yashasvi Jaiswal and also got the wicket of KS Bharat.

Criticising England’s bowling approach, former captain Nasser Hussain lamented the exclusion of James Anderson. The England legend further pointed out the veteran pacer’s skills in the sub-continent and felt that he would have given control to England.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Hussain said, “I said before the game that I would have played Anderson. I was a bit surprised by the balance of the side because some people are saying three spinners, but with Root, we actually have four spinners, and one seamer. So I was a little bit surprised. I understood why they had done it. Firstly, they have seen a bare pitch that’s gonna turn. The history of what they have played in India, pitches have turned recently. So they wanted four spinners or three spinners and Root. Also for the reasons that we have just discussed. We have got Jack Leach, who hasn’t bowled since May-June, because of his stress fractures.”

“You then got a debutant and someone playing in their second Test match and they may have been a little concerned, how much can you bowl Leach in his comeback game. If you just go for the second spinner and don’t get it right, as the two lads haven’t quite got it right, Rehan and Hartley. Then you are left in a bit of a tricky position but Anderson gives you control. If not Anderson, it can be Robinson, just another seamer. Anderson’s skills in the sub-continent have been exceptional over the last few years. He gives you control, he bowls those cutters, he gets reverse swing,” he added.

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Sumit Seth