Former England captain Nasser Hussain predicts that India is likely to win the upcoming five-match Test series against England. India has a formidable record at home, having won 16 consecutive Test series, making them the favorites in the series. England’s last Test series victory in India dates back to 2012, and since then, India has been dominant on home soil.
Nasser Hussain Warns Team India Of “Bazball”
Hussain acknowledges the challenge of playing on rank turners in India, where the aggressive batting style known as Bazball may face difficulties due to the turning pitches. Despite this, he emphasizes that Bazball has not lost a Test series, indicating that England cannot be ruled out entirely against India.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Nasser Hussain said: “India are the favourites, but every single challenge Bazball has faced they’ve stuck to their guns and Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum’s record is seriously good, I wouldn’t write them off,”
He added: “Bazball has been very successful, especially at home and the two toughest places to tour are India or Australia. It’s going to be a massive challenge for England. India wants to see how this new approach will work at home. It will be fascinating cricket and will be interesting to see how this particular side will go against what is one of the great cricketing outfits at the moment, which is the India side,”
Bazball faces a formidable challenge on the rank turners in India, where the tracks are expected to spin significantly. England’s record against spinners has been less than stellar. The Indian squad for the Test series against England includes spinners Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, and Kuldeep Yadav, intensifying the challenge for the English batters.
Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum have demonstrated effective leadership consistently. Speculations arose about England’s ability to navigate flat pitches before their tour of Pakistan after 17 years. Surprisingly, England secured a 3-0 whitewash series victory against Pakistan in 2022.
Nasser Hussain added, “Last winter in Pakistan, Stokes’ captaincy was magnificent in the way he waited for reverse swing and brought himself on and then saw the wicket turning and left it to his spinners.”
Ben Stokes will lead the side against India in the Test series, but he will only participate as a batsman due to his ongoing recovery from a knee injury, making it unlikely for him to bowl in the series. Additionally, Ben Foakes has earned a recall to the England Test side. He hasn’t been part of the Test team since the drawn series in New Zealand in February.
“Bairstow got better with the bat and gloves as the Ashes went on. He admitted he was undercooked after that serious injury and the balance of the side with Stokes not bowling is going to be even more challenging,” said Nasser Hussain. “Bairstow is probably the one they’ll look to unless it is spinning big in which case England will want Foakes because he is an incredible gloveman.”
The Test series commences on January 25 with the first Test scheduled at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.