IND vs ENG: Nasser Hussain ‘Surprised’ England Didn’t Play Their Greatest Ever Bowler in Hyderabad

Last Updated: January 27, 2024, 07:27 IST

IND vs ENG: England's James Anderson (AP)

IND vs ENG: England’s James Anderson (AP)

Nasser Hussain said he would have gone with James Anderson adding that he understood why England went with three spinners.

England had to toil hard throughout the day looking for wickets as India batters forged solid partnerships, andthwarting their efforts with the ball at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Friday.

In fact, all of India’s batters, barring Ravichandran Ashwin, got starts as KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja went to smash half-centuries to help India took their first innings lead to 175 runs, ending the second day at 421/7 in 110 overs.

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Former England captain Nasser Hussain suggested that things may have turned out differently if James Anderson was in their playing XI.

“I said before the game, I would have played Anderson. I was a bit surprised at the balance of the side because with (Joe) Root in India, it is four spinners and one seamer,” Hussain said on Sky Sports.

“Anderson gives you control. It doesn’t even have to be him, it can be (Ollie) Robinson, just another seamer,” he added.

Anderson has taken 34 wickets from 13 Tests at an average of 29.32 he’s played in India so far.

However, Hussain added he understands why England went in with three spinners.

“Anderson’s skills in the sub-continent has been exceptional in the last few years. Anderson is a quite a good player when he is in the side. He is England’s greatest ever bowler,” he said.

“I understood why they have done it. You’ve got Jack Leach who hasn’t bowled since May or June because of his stress fractures and then you have a debutant and someone playing in their second Test match. They may have been concerned about how much you can bowl Leach in that game. So, if you just go for the second spinner and they don’t get it right, you are left in a tricky position,” he added.

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In fact, despite three specialist spinners, the most effective bowler for England was part-timer Joe Root.

“The beauty of having Joe Root is that he knows…how to create opportunities,” England bowling coach Jeetan Patel said.

“That is one thing Joe has — an ability to think ‘how will I take a wicket? How will I change a game?’ I think today we saw the typical Joe Root, he creates opportunities. Yes, he’s going to be hit for boundaries but that’s how Joe Root bowls. He bowls attacking deliveries, he asks attacking questions. He was fantastic I thought,” he added.

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