London, Feb 20 | Former England captain Nasser Hussain has advised the England team to avoid going into siege mentality by blaming the pitch and outside factors, and instead look at their recent overseas record to draw inspiration for the remaining two Tests against India.
Responding to former England player David Lloyd’s criticism of the Chennai pitch for the second Test, Hussain said that England spinners are more to blame than the pitch as they bowled full tosses every other over.
“What they need to do is realise how good they have been away from home and learn from how Ravi(chandran) 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.
Hussain, 52, who represented England in 96 Test matches, said that the second Test was exciting due to the pitch.
India opener Rohit Sharma scored 161 in the first innings while R Ashwin scored his fifth century, a 106 in the second innings. Ashwin also took eight wickets in the match while Patel took seven wickets.
“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 first innings) and India scored 600 runs on it. It is not that much of 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.
Lloyd had blamed the BCCI for not preparing the pitch that was decent enough to bat on.
“There wasn’t a surface. There isn’t one. They just put some stumps in. There is no surface. They’ve had months to prepare it. There is no preparation in it. I think it is just totally wrong. I lost interest after 20 minutes,” said Lloyd.