Former England captain Nasser Hussain has opened up on the challenges Ben Stokes and his boys will have to face with their ‘Bazball’ approach in the upcoming five-match Test series in India. However, England are the last team to have won a bilateral series in India but they have only one win in their last nine games here as well. And, the pitches for the upcoming series are likely to be conducive to spin.
“India are waiting. There has been a lot of talk about Indian cricket, and there has been a lot of talk about Bazball, and the two of them are just about to meet. A lot of Indian fans are waiting to see Bazball and put it to bed,” Nasser Hussain said on Sky Sports Cricket. “If the Indian management asked for good pitches that spin, then I think their spinners and batters will out-spin and out-bat ours. If they ask for pitches that are a bit of lottery, and it turns huge, then I think it brings England’s spinners into it as well.”
However, unlike last time, England have announced a spin-heavy squad for the upcoming series. While they have added four frontline spinners, there are two uncapped players also, Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir. Meanwhile, Joe Root has moved on from captaincy and Stuart Broad has retired as well. And, under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, England have done exceptionally well in Tests.
“If it spins, then Root becomes England’s most important player. Duckett as well, also Stokes is a magnificent player of spin and their mindset as well. As we saw in Pakistan, where different pitches, did not spin much at all. Low, slow, and they get 500 in a day or whatever. So, don’t expect what we saw last time where batters are just pushing and prodding. I talked to Swanny about the balance last week. We have seen Cook getting 190-odd in India, and Pietersen scoring 180-odd in India. Two completely different, but hugely successful, so still high risk is high risk,” Nasser Hussain concluded.
The first Test between India and England will start on January 25 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.