England conceded a crushing defeat by 317 runs in the second Test, their biggest ever in terms of runs against India. While the pitch for the game stole the spotlight, the English spinners’ inconsistency was swept under the carpet. While their Indian counterparts were excellent, the tourists failed to cash in on a turning pitch. As a result, India scored over 600 runs in the game.
Former English captain Nasser Hussain feels that the English spinners should learn from how the hosts bowled. Hussain was especially disappointed by the number of full tosses dished out by the English pair, Moeen Ali and Jack Leach, in the second Test. It was these loose deliveries that enabled India to stitch big partnerships on a rank turner at the Chepauk.
“What they need to do is realise how good they have been away from home and learn from how Ravi Ashwin and Rohit Sharma batted on it. I have never seen in the last five Tests an English finger spinner bowl as many full tosses as Jack Leach and Moeen Ali bowled in that first innings.”
“Every other over, there was a full toss. I didn’t see any full tosses from (Axar) Patel or Ashwin, they had control and wicket-taking potential. That’s the area they need to work on. They were completely out-bowled by the Indian spinners,” said Hussain while speaking on Sky Sports.
“Because of the surface, it was so watchable” asserts Nasser Hussain
The pitch for the second Test in Chennai was a typical rank turner. While India batted beautifully on it on the opening day, 15 wickets fell on day two. And it attracted harsh criticism from former players who deemed it unfit for Test cricket. Weighing in on the matter, Hussain feels that the pitch made the game an interesting affair. He further advised England to not bother about the uncontrollable and focus on their skills set going into the final two Tests.
“I was glued to my TV every single ball because of the surface… It was so watchable. There was so many things going on. R Ashwin got a second innings hundred and Rohit Sharma got 160 on it (in the first innings) and India scored 600 runs on it. It is not that much of a minefield if these lads are getting runs on it. I just hope England actually don’t have that mentality of, ‘Oh it’s the pitch, it’s the pitch, it was the toss, it is the umpiring, the DRS’. You can quickly go into siege mentality in India,” added Hussain.
The third Test in Ahmedabad will be a pink-ball affair. The result of the Test will decide which team is the first to crash out of the race for the World Test Championship final. A win for a side means the other’s hopes of making it to Lords are squashed. On the other hand, a draw will end both England’s hopes.