Kohli's India can't be bullied: Hussain sounds a warning to England

Former England skipper Nasser Hussain warned England to be ready for a tough one in the four-Test series against India, starting February 5 in Chennai.

India skipper Virat Kohli relaxes during a nets session.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Former England captain Nasser Hussain feels Virat Kohli has instilled a fighting attitude in the current Indian team, which does not get bullied by adversities, whether on or off the field.

Despite missing some key players to injuries and skipper Kohli, who was on paternity leave, an inexperienced Indian team, led by Ajinkya Rahane, displayed grit and determination to register a historic come-from-behind 2-1 series win over Australia.

Hussain warned England to be ready for a tough one in the four-Test series against India, starting February 5 in Chennai.

"Any side that can go to Australia, go 1-0 down after being bowled out for 36, lose Kohli because he's going home on paternity leave, lose your bowling attack and still come back and win after some of the stuff that went on off the field in Australia, they won't be bullied," he told Sky Sports.

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"They (India) are a tough side. I think Kohli has instilled that. Make no mistake, at home, they are a formidable outfit."

Insisting that England will head into the India assignment with plenty of confidence after the 2-0 series sweep of Sri Lanka, Hussain urged the visitor to field its best eleven in the first Test.

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Hussain had earlier taken strong objection to England's decision to rest Jonny Bairstow for the first two India Tests.

"That's a really good sign that they're doing that, with harder tasks ahead. The Ashes, India home and away, New Zealand confirmed, but that is great momentum and confidence going into an iconic series which is India away," he said.

"I was brought up in India and I've always seen India vs England as one of the great series - all I would have asked is turn up to Chennai with your best 13 to 15 players.

"I think England fans have earned the right for their best team to be there that first day. If it means (Stuart) Broad and (James) Anderson playing together because it's a bit green, worry about the Ashes down the line."

Countering India will be big challenge for England spinners -Jayawardene

England spinners Dom Bess and Jack Leach must have gained a lot by bowling in Sri Lanka but a bigger challenge awaits them against India in the four-Test rubber starting February 5, feels former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene.

Left-arm spinner Leach claimed 10 wickets in the two-match series while off-spinner Bess took 12 in England’s 2-0 victory.

“I think that's going to be a very exciting series and a very good challenge for this group of players. That’s what cricket is all about. You need to go away and win the Test series,” Jayawardene told Sky Sports.

“The two spinners (Bess and Leach) will have learned a lot here but it will be a bigger challenge in India.”

Jayawardene believes England is “well prepared” for the India series, and will gain with the participation of Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer. Both Stokes and Archer were rested for the Sri Lanka series.

“Getting Ben Stokes back will be a massive advantage for England because he will bring that experience and be another left-handed batsman in their top-order which can be crucial,” said Jayawardene.

“Jofra Archer will bring something to the table with his pace, especially on slower wickets. So I think overall they are very well prepared.”

Opener Rory Burns has also been called for the India assignment but it won’t be easy for him to be battle-ready for international cricket, according to the Sri Lankan. Burns, who has an experience of 21 Tests under his belt, last played in domestic matches at home, about four months back.

“It will be a challenge for Rory Burns if he opens. He hasn’t played much cricket lately.”

Jayawardene was also “disappointed” that wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow is not in the squad “given his experience and the way he batted in this (Sri Lanka) series.”

“He should be at that touring party.”