England needs to dust itself off, not moan about pitches - Nasser Hussain

England needs to rectify flaws in its spin department to make a strong comeback in the Test series against India, says Nasser.

Moeen Ali celebrates the dismissal of Ajinkya Rahane on Day One of the second Test. Moeen didn’t quite have the control he would have wanted during his spell in the first innings, says Nasser. - BCCI

England need not moan about Indian pitches and instead rectify inconsistencies in its spin department to make a comeback in the next two Tests, according to former captain Nasser Hussain.

Nasser said off-spinner Dom Bess’ inability to maintain length has been the biggest problem for England.

“England need to dust themselves off, not moan about the pitch, the toss, DRS, umpires or whatever and just try and rectify and improve in the areas they were found short - and knowing this side, I think that is exactly what they will do,” Hussain wrote in his column for Sky Sports.

“Even though they continue to get wickets, the biggest issue is the consistency in the spin department. It is not just this Test match, if you look back at Sri Lanka, Jack Leach and Dom Bess got wickets but Bess, in particular, was very inconsistent with his length.”

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Nasser said Indian spinners outperformed their England counterparts in the second Test, and even the experienced Moeen Ali lacked control in his spells.

“Ali got eight wickets (in second Test) and he bowled some real beauties, like the one to bowl Virat Kohli in first innings and got him out twice in the game - but Mo himself will admit that in first innings, he didn’t quite have the control and 4 for 128 is not what you’re looking for on such a minefield for the spinners.

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“If you compare that to how India’s two spinners bowled and the control of Ravichandran Ashwin, they didn’t do anything magical, they just jammed it in there ball after ball,” Nasser said.

“If you’re asking me the main reason why England lost the Test match, I would say if you look at India’s main two spinners - Ashwin and Axar Patel - they were more consistent than the England spinners.”

Nasser was careful not to be too critical of Ali who hasn’t played a Test since the 2019 Ashes and had COVID-19 on tour in Sri Lanka.

 

Nasser felt England batsmen would have to find a way to score in difficult pitches. “I can’t be overly critical of England’s batting. They can learn though; India had a batsman in Rohit Sharma who scored nearly 200 runs and bowling all-rounder Ashwin got a second-innings hundred on it so it was not impossible. England have got to look at that and ask what Rohit and Ashwin did so well to try and learn and improve.”

“... this was a chastening defeat ... but that’s what the challenge is playing away from home, the same way as it is when you go to Australia and we used to have to cope with the bounce at Perth. Or when players come to England and have to cope with the moving Dukes ball - it is part of being an all-round cricketer and occasionally you get pitches like that,” said the former captain.

He also stated that England’s cricket authorities would need to do more to help spinners become more consistent. “When Somerset produce a pitch at Taunton like the one we’ve just seen in Chennai, they get docked points, then there is where and when we play our red-ball cricket.”

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