'It was not an 81 all out pitch, England batters looked like startled rabbits': Nasser Hussain on Ahmedabad Test
Former England captain Nasser Hussain slammed the England batsmen for not being able to score even 200 runs (combining both the innings) in the day-night Test against India and said they appeared like ‘startled rabbits’ in the second innings in front of Indian spinners.
Agreeing that the pitch in Ahmedabad for the India vs England third Test match was a difficult one to bat on, Hussain said it was certainly not one in which you get bowled out for 81.
"England looked like startled rabbits in that second innings. I don't think it was an 81 all out pitch but this was a much tougher pitch than Chennai." Hussain said on 'Sky Sports Cricket Podcast'.
England were bowled out for 112 in the first innings. They came back strongly to skittle India out for 145 but were again found wanting in front of India spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel to get bowled out for their lowest Test score against India of 81 in the second innings.
India then chased down the 49-run target with 10 wickets in hand to go 2-1 up in the four-match series.
"Especially on this pitch, where one spins prodigiously and the other skids on, you lose all kind of rhythm. That's what successive Test matches on these sorts of pitches do for your mindset," Hussain added.
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who was the destructor-in-chief, relentlessly hit the good length areas to bamboozle the England batsmen and grab a match-haul of 11 for 70.
"Axar is very accurate. He bowls stump to stump and some balls turn and some don't. Most of his wickets came from balls that didn't turn, so people will look at that and say 'why not play for those straight deliveries?' but it's the ball before.
"You could also argue that it was that pitch before in Chennai when everything spun big but it was the also the ball that spun big on Zak Crawley on day one here. Every England batsman thought 'I have to go for the spin' but most got done with the one that didn't spin," Hussain added.
The 52-year-old, who represented England in 96 Tests, feels England need to get a good score in the first innings to have a chance at winning the next Test.
"It is all about the mentality of that side now and to be fair to them a lot of the chat about the pitches and umpires has come from outside the dressing room. I have not heard a single England player say these conditions are unfair," said Hussain.
"They have to find a way and Zak Crawley's first-innings fifty was a positive. The carrot is there, 2-2 with India will not be a bad result at all. "Although I know that is a long way away when England haven't reached 200 in five innings. They have to get a score in the first innings," he added.
(With PTI inputs)