Nasser Hussain has slammed England's team selection for the fourth Test, stating their playing 11 would have been better suited for the previous match. The visitors went in with just one frontline pacer, while playing only three genuine bowlers in the series decider.
Joe Root and co. picked an extra batsman in Dan Lawrence for the fourth and final Test against India, a justified decision given their recent top-order woes. However, playing just one specialist speedster in James Anderson on a hard and dampish Ahmedabad wicket has raised some eyebrows.
In the third Test, England inscrutably went with a three-pronged seam attack on a dry and spinning wicket, while India played three spinners. Writing for the Daily Mail, Nasser Hussain blasted the visitors' decision to play just one specialist seamer in the series decider. He also scrutinized England's poor batting display, with Joe Root's side getting bundled out for just 205 runs in their first innings.
"Five times they have failed to make 200 in this series and now they've only just scraped past that modest total thanks to a couple of reverse sweeps from Jimmy Anderson. It just shows where they are with their batting in these conditions. It was almost as if England had picked a side for the last Test. They left out two of their seamers because they thought the ball would spin from day one again but as it turned out it did a bit for Mohammed Siraj and Ishant Sharma on the first morning," Nasser Hussain wrote.
The former England skipper went on to add that the visitors once again failed to read the conditions well.
"England can count themselves very lucky they did win that toss because bowling would have been hard work for them with the attack they chose. Yes, you can see the need for an extra batsman, in this case Dan Lawrence, on a poor pitch, but in this game England needed three seamers and the extra spinner. They have not read the conditions well and have not played particularly well," added Nasser Hussain.
The pacers extracted substantial zip from the Ahmedabad surface in the fourth Test. While Mohammed Siraj picked up two wickets, James Anderson also dismissed Shubman Gill early in India's first innings.
England haven't tested Virat Kohli's captaincy since the first Test: Nasser Hussain
Nasser Hussain also spoke about Virat Kohli's leadership acumen. He believes the Indian captain is at his best when his team are in the driver's seat. However, Hussain feels England haven't 'tested' him much since winning the first Test of the series.
"Virat Kohli’s captaincy is always better when India are ahead in the game so yesterday suited him perfectly. When he has two spinners and things are going well he is at his best but when his side are behind he gets ruffled and starts to follow the ball with his field placings. So England haven’t really tested him since that first Test," explained Nasser Hussain.
India ended Day 1 at 24-1, trailing England by 181 runs. The hosts will look to build a competitive first-innings lead and put Joe Root's side under more pressure.