Former England captain Nasser Hussain has said that holes in Indias batting line-up were brilliantly exposed by England on the first day of the third Test at Leeds on Wednesday. He also said that Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja are slotted too high in the batting order.
“There are other areas of concern for India. As I said before this game Rishabh Pant looks a place too high at six in England against the moving ball. It’s a luxury they can afford in home conditions but not here.
“The same goes for Ravindra Jadeja at seven. What Wednesday confirmed is that there are holes in this India line-up and they were exploited brilliantly by England on another great day of Test cricket,” wrote Hussain in his column for Daily Mail on Thursday.
Hussain thought if India had been better served with Ravichandran Ashwin in the eleven at Headingley. “And I think they have selected wrong here. Looking at the way this pitch has played they would have been a stronger side for having Ravichandran Ashwin at eight instead of one of the four seamers.”
“Particularly with five left-handers in the England team. Did Kohli get it wrong in deciding to bat? That’s a difficult one because it is usually a good pitch here but Root was planning to bowl if he’d won the toss because history tells you the surface gets better and better,” added Hussain.
The 53-year-old was critical of India having a long tail for Test matches in England. “I have said India’s batting looks fragile and I still cannot believe they are going into a series in England against a Dukes ball with such a long tail. And that still applies despite what Bumrah and Mohammed Shami did at Lord’s.”
“Now India are going in with four No 11s. It cannot be the way to go in England – you can always lose a couple of early wickets, as they did on Wednesday, and your No 8 in Shami has to start looking for his pads,” concluded Hussain.
India were bowled out for just 78 runs in 40.4 overs. Only Rohit Sharma (19) and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (18) managed to get into double figures. At stumps, England are 120/0, leading by 42 runs.