'India outplayed, out-batted and out-spun England': Hussain reckons Indian spinners 'have been in a different league'
- Nasser Hussain believes England need to take responsibility for the 1-3 series defeat against India, explaining how the home team outperformed the opposition in most of the departments.
Former captain Nasser Hussain believes England need to take responsibility for the 1-3 series defeat against India, explaining how the home team outperformed the opposition in most of the departments. England lost the fourth Test in Ahmedabad by an innings and 25 runs, with Indian spinners once again doing the bulk of the damage.
R Ashwin and Axar Patel picked up a five-wicket-haul each to bowl England out by 135 in the second innings, thus capping off an emphatic series win. Hussain feels England have only themselves to blame and appreciated Indian spinners for their brilliant show.
"England can have no excuses. They've played on three of four different surfaces, they've won three of the four tosses, they've misread conditions, they've rotated their side and since that first Test match they've been hammered by 300-odd runs, by 10 wickets and now by an innings and 20-odd runs in this game," Hussain wrote in his column for Sky Sports.
"India have just completely outplayed them, out-batted and definitely out-spun them; their spinners have been in a different league."
England batsmen's ability to play spin on sub-continent pitches has been an ongoing hot debate. Although England did well in Sri Lanka, winning the series 2-0, the way their batsmen appeared clueless against the likes of Ashwin and Axar poses a lot of questions, reckons Hussain. The former England captain explained how it could be easy to brush this series under the carpet due to the rotation policy but mustn't be due to what was at stake.
"The point I'm trying to make is that I feel at the end of this series that we're going to give our cricketers a lot of excuses - 'it's county cricket', 'it's rotation', 'it's the pitch', 'it's playing in India' - players have to take responsibility, they're the ones who win or lose Test matches," Hussain said.
Hussain explained how except Joe Root and to a certain extent Ben Stokes, the rest of the players struggled against India spinners. Even when England won the first Test by 227 runs, barring Root and Stokes, there was a question mark over the rest of the English batsmen about their skills in terms of facing quality spin.
"You wouldn't say the rest have looked comfortable against left-arm spin, whether in be Lasith Embuldeniya or Axar Patel. It follows the usual downward spiral that you get on a tour and also, when the pitches are poor as they have been in the two previous Test matches, you lose that rhythm of batting," he said.
"It's tricky and even the Indian batsmen, if you look at Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, they have lost the rhythm of batting and it is very difficult for a batsman. But you would say, right from day one, if it wasn't for Root - and Stokes to a degree when he started off well - I think the batting line-up has struggled."