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Hussain criticises England for not going for win against NZ

Source: ANI
June 07, 2021 11:11 IST
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Nasser Hussain critical of Root's captaincy 

Joe Root

IMAGE: Joe Root and Dominic Sibley helped England walk away with a draw at the Lord's Cricket Ground on Sunday. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Former England skipper Nasser Hussain feels the hosts should have gone for a win rather than playing sluggish cricket on the final day of the first Test against New Zealand.

England needed 273 runs to win the game in the final two sessions after New Zealand declared their innings at 169/6. Root and Dominic Sibley helped England walk away with a draw at the Lord's Cricket Ground on Sunday. Sibley scored 60 runs off 207 balls, equalling the seventh slowest fifty by an England opener post year 2000.

"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," Sky Sports quoted Hussain as saying.

"He could have shaken hands at 15 overs to go but he didn't because he was the one playing the positive cricket.

 

"I understand why England didn't go for it -- you have to put it into context. They lost their last three Test matches, there's no Jos Buttler, no Ben Stokes," he added.

Hussain said England lacked 'intent' to go for a win and attributed the hosts' slow approach to recent games in which the Root-led side had found themselves gasping for breath.

"They find themselves 20-3 far too often in Test cricket, so you do have to look at the bigger picture of where this England team are and where they're trying to get to," Sky Sports quoted Hussain as saying.

"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'," he added.

The former England skipper wants his side to neither play too much aggressive nor too defensive cricket.

"They got criticised a lot for playing aggressive cricket, now they play defensive cricket -- it doesn't have to be one or the other," said Hussain.

"In 70-odd overs, you can go the other way and then if you get in a bit of trouble you can drag it back in," he added.

England and New Zealand will next lock horns in the second Test from Thursday. 

Root defends hosts' approach, says chasing wasn't 'realistic'

England skipper Joe Root feels there wasn't a "realistic" opportunity for the hosts to win the first Test against New Zealand.

England needed 273 runs to win the game in the final two sessions after New Zealand declared their innings at 169/6. Root and Dominic Sibley helped England walk away with a draw at the Lord's Cricket Ground on Sunday. Root defended England's approach and said it was hard to score over three runs per over on an "absolute best" wicket.

"Having played on that wicket for a few days, we knew it wasn't going to be as straightforward as it looked," ESPNcricinfo quoted Root as saying.

"If you look at the run rate throughout the game, it was hard to score above three an over even when the pitch was at its absolute best."

"We wanted to lay ourselves a foundation but, once we got through the initial phase, it just didn't feel like there was a realistic opportunity for us to win the game," he added.

Root said England wanted to be a bit more disciplined in their batting having been bundled out for 275 in the first innings.

"So, it was about using it as an opportunity to be a bit more disciplined as a batting group. At times in the first innings we showed a little bit of ill discipline. This was a chance to put that right and take a bit of confidence going into the rest of the series," said Root.

England and New Zealand will next lock horns in the second Test from Thursday and Root feels the hosts have a very good chance to win the series.

"The last two times we've played in New Zealand we've been hammered in the first game and pretty much out the series," he said.

"But going to Edgbaston, this series is very much alive. We've got a chance to win it and we can take confidence from some very good individual performances in this game," Root added.

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Source: ANI
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