ANI Photo | “Bazball is about being attacking but…”: Nasser Hussain on England’s heavy defeat against India

Former England captain Nasser Hussain lamented England’s failure to capitalise on vital opportunities in the Rajkot Test against India in which the visitors were pummeled by the hosts to a heavy 434-run defeat.
To say England was hammered would be an understatement after losing to India in the third Test. The hosts pummelled the visitors on a flat surface that finally worked to their advantage as time passed. India encountered a snag when star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had to rush back to Chennai due to a family issue, leaving them with a ten-man squad. However, the Englishmen were unable to capitalise on critical moments that may have changed the team’s fortunes.
England returned to India following their mid-series break, hoping to turn the Test series in their favour. Despite encountering some difficulties in the third Test match, Team India responded valiantly and defeated England to register one of their most impressive red-ball victories in Rajkot’s Niranjan Shah Stadium. The Men in Blue gained much plaudits following their victory, which set several records. On the contrary, England coped with criticism, and Hussain did not back down.
“One thing Joe will look at is the timing of that shot. [Ravichandran] Ashwin wasn’t there, India are down a bowler; [Ravindra] Jadeja is playing off the back of an injury; Bumrah is playing three Tests in a row and there is talk of him needing a rest,” Nasser Hussain was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“Bazball is about being attacked but it is also about soaking up pressure. Get Bumrah into his second or third spell, take it deep and then play the shot later in the day,” he added.
Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook reflected on the visitors’ defeat and questioned the timing of the shot rather than Root’s decision to play it, citing his prior success with it in last summer’s Ashes.
England’s game plan began to crumble exactly with the removal of their greatest batsman, Joe Root, who was caught at second slip for 18 while attempting to reverse-scoop Jasprit Bumrah. It sparked a batting collapse of eight wickets for 95 runs, giving India a 126-run lead and a commanding position in the match that they would never lose.
“When he played it to the first ball [on day four of the first Test] at Edgbaston, I didn’t mind it at all because it was all about how many runs England were going to score that day to set up a game. It sent a real message to everyone in the changing room that England’s best player is going to take on Australia,” Cook said.
“Root will be sitting in his room tonight going, ‘I think I got that one wrong’,” he added.
Both Hussain and Cook think there is still room for hope as England seeks to turn the series around with victory in the remaining two Tests.
“It has not been great for the last couple of days, but it’s been pretty good before that,” Hussain added.
“This side is better placed than any other side in England history to park a 434-run loss. In isolation that is an incredible figure but Stokes has this unflappable belief that he can win from anywhere. That belief rubs off on his team,” Cook said.
With a 2-1 lead in the five-match Test series, India will face England in the fourth game at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi from Friday. (ANI)

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