Former England captain Nasser Hussain has hailed New Zealand following their eight-wicket triumph in the Edgbaston Test on Sunday. According to Hussain, it is a massive achievement for New Zealand to be above India, England, and Australia in the Test rankings.
The Black Caps’ triumph on Sunday meant they registered their first Test series win in England since 1999. With the win, they also reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the ICC Test rankings. They will now face India in the World Test Championship (WTC) final in Southampton from June 18-22.
In his column for Sky Sports, Hussain wrote that winning the WTC final would be another major landmark in New Zealand’s cricketing history. Praising the Kiwis, he stated:
"For a nation like New Zealand to be above India, England and Australia in the Test rankings, is a massive achievement for them. That's nice but for them now, the first ever final of the World Test Championship, if they could go that one stage further and beat the mighty India, that will be a phenomenal achievement.”
Hussain pointed out that the win in England is significant for New Zealand, considering their record away from home against top nations is not great.
“For all their success, away from home against teams like India, Australia and England, their record is actually poor. So this was a very important win, not only historically but also with what lies ahead with the World Test Championship final, they'll go into that with a lot of confidence.”
“...You want depth and with the amount of cricket that is being played nowadays, you want to be able to rotate and rest, you virtually want an option for every position in that side. And you'd say, looking at New Zealand's squad, they've got every base covered.”
England should look at New Zealand and try to improve: Nasser Hussain
According to Hussain, there is a lot that England can learn from New Zealand’s approach in Test cricket.
He admitted that England’s batting line-up has been wobbly for a while but added that more than changes in the team, they need to better their mindset. Continuing his post-mortem of England’s loss, Hussain further wrote:
“As for England, their batting line-up has failed for a little while, their bowlers have been absolutely magnificent… But I do think we need to see some changes in the batting line-up. Not necessarily changes in personnel but changes in approach.
“I think England should look at this New Zealand side and think why a country with 110 first-class male cricketers, why are they able to produce all this strength in depth? We should look at them and try and improve.”
Hussain also felt that Zak Crawley’s spot could be in jeopardy for the India Tests. Crawley managed a highest score of 17 in four innings against New Zealand.
England’s loss to New Zealand was their first defeat in a home Test series since 2014.