Ahead of day three of the first Test between India and England on Saturday, former English cricketer Nasser Hussain said that he would have played legendary pacer James Anderson since he can bring balance to the bowling attack.
While speaking to Sky Sports Cricket, Hussain revealed that he was “surprised” after seeing England play three spinners. He added that with Joe Root in the squad, the visitors have “four spinners and one seamer”.
Hussain also pointed out Jack Leach hasn’t bowled for several months following his stress fractures.
“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,” Hussain said as quoted by Sky Sports.
Nasser Hussain said, “Jimmy Anderson’s skills in the sub-continent have been exceptional in the last few years. Anderson is quite a good player when he is in the side. He is England’s greatest ever bowler, he needed to play”. (Sky Sports). pic.twitter.com/ATjCqeaF2B
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) January 27, 2024
The former cricketer added that England could have gone with Ollie Robinson during the first Test match against India.
“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.
While concluding, Hussain showered praise on Anderson and called him England’s greatest-ever bowler.
“You are always a better player when you are outside, Anderson was quite a good player and he is quite a good player when he is inside. He is England’s greatest-ever bowler,” he concluded.
Recapping the second day, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel made England spinners toil hard in the third session, taking India to a strong position at the end of Day 2 of the first Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Friday.
At the end of Day 2, India posted 421/7 runs on the board claiming a lead of 175 runs with Jadeja and Axar unbeaten with scores of 81(155)* and 35(62)* respectively.
While the left-handed pair dominated the majority of the third session, it was Root who turned out to be England’s best spinner. He removed Jaiswal in the very first over, almost picked KL Rahul for a duck, trapped Bharat for LBW and managed to lure batters to play some half-committed shots.
(Source – ANI)