‘I think there would have been more intent’ – Nasser Hussain on England’s poor show against New Zealand on day 5 of 1st Test
Nasser Hussain expected England batters to give a fight on the fifth day of the first Test at the Lord's against NZ.
Updated - Jun 7, 2021 1:24 pm
Nasser Hussain has criticized England’s approach on Day five at Lords in the first Test against New Zealand which ended in a tame draw. Coming into day five, everyone kind of anticipated the match to end in a draw as a whole of day three was washed away due to rain. The visitors’ skipper Kane Williamson though decided against it and boldly declared and set them a target of 273 in 75 overs.
Rather than having a go at the run-chase, England batters were more than happy to defend and block. The chase was led by opener Dominic Sibley who finished on an unbeaten 60 and ended the day’s play on 170 losing three wickets in the process. This approach of not trying to score runs briskly didn’t go well with a lot of people, fans, and experts who questioned the English batters’ intent.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain too was not impressed by this batting and questioned the home team’s batter’s thought process, particularly because the match gave spectators their first opportunity to watch Test cricket in England in person since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There only seemed to be one side that were keen to win it and that’s why Kane Williamson stayed on, even at the end.” Hussain said, as reported in Sky Sports.
“He could have shaken hands at 15 overs to go but he didn’t because he was the one playing the positive cricket.”
Nasser Hussain opens up on England batter’s approach
Hussain also pointed out why the English batters opted for a slow approach since they had earlier got a lot of criticism for playing Test cricket as an ODI game. Plus the side didn’t have any big-hitters such as Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler to press for an unlikely victory.
“If they were playing, I think there would have been more intent. They’re trying to occupy the crease and bat long, that’s what they’ve asked Dom Sibley to do and that’s what he did do.”
The cricketer-turned commentator also stated that England batters could have played some positive cricket along with playing cautiously and could at least have come close to the target f 273.
“But I think at least try to go at it hard, show some intent, and if you get four or five down, then you can block, then you can say ‘no, we’re not going any further.”