England vs West Indies: Nasser Hussain points out hosts’ weakness with the bat as main reason for loss at Southampton
Eng vs WI: While there were questions raised about stand-in-captain Ben Stokes’ questionable decisions, Hussain said that the primary problem was the fact that England didn’t bat well in the first innings.Updated: Jul 13, 2020 16:27 IST
West Indies’ thrilling win over England in the opening Test of the three-match series in Southampton might be good news for cricket in general but for the hosts it is yet another reminder of their problems with the bat. The absence of regular skipper Joe Root, who is also their batting mainstay, exposed England’s problems once again.
The young top order is yet to settle in and on a surface where the ball did a bit, the batting was found wanting desperately, despite a good fightback in the second innings. Speaking about England’s problems former captain and commentator Nasser Hussain also pointed out the weakness in the hosts’ batting.
While there were questions raised about stand-in-captain Ben Stokes’ questionable decisions, Hussain said that the primary problem was the fact that England didn’t bat well in the first innings.
“Let’s not get lost with the Broad issue or the toss issue. England having batted first were bowled out for 204 - that is still their nemesis,” Hussain was quoted as saying by ‘Sky Sports’.
“They did well in South Africa, but in England, against the Dukes ball, they often find themselves 20-3, 30-3, and without Root in the side this week that was a nightmare. That is still the issue for England,” he added.
Hussain further said that the team needs to dig deep and fight it out like they did in South Africa and New Zealand. He also defended Stokes’ call of batting first under overcast conditions, saying that he backed his team to get 300 which they couldn’t.
“They are going to a good surface at Old Trafford. Root is back and they have to bat like they did in South Africa this winter and at points in New Zealand. Not by being 204 all out.
“Sometimes as a captain you have to say ‘I back my side to get 300 on this’ but England fluffed their lines again with the bat after winning the toss,” he added.
Hussain congratulated West Indies on their superb victory and added that the visitors needed to win the match as they had dominated the proceedings and losing after such a performance would have deflated them.
“It’s great for West Indies on so many different levels. They deserve it for coming over to England (amid the coronavirus pandemic) and doing what they have had to - quarantine at Emirates Old Trafford and then come to the Ageas Bowl and be in a bubble.
“Winning like that was absolutely phenomenal - and that’s why it was an important win. Imagine doing all that and then losing after bossing this game. They would then have driven up to Manchester thinking ‘we have done all the right things and we are 1-0 down’,” Hussain added.