London, Aug 20 (IANS) Former England captain Nasser Hussain and batsman Robert Key have blamed poor standard of County Championship cricket for the failure of England’s batting. The duo have blamed the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for neglecting red-ball cricket.
“I’ve enjoyed it (The Hundred tournament). The atmosphere has been brilliant and it does have a different feel about it. There is collateral damage to Test cricket from having so much white-ball cricket at this time of year. The schedule is ridiculous,” Hussain was quoted as saying by dailymail.co.uk.
Key, however, said that England’s batting problems predate scheduling.
“I agree about the schedule up to a point but England’s problems in Test cricket have not come about because of the Hundred. There was a lot of [County] Championship cricket before the New Zealand series but England still got blown away with the bat. The techniques of England players have evolved through the environment they have played in for seven or eight years. We are seeing the results of years of neglect for red-ball cricket,” said the former batsman, who played 15 Test matches.
Hussain agreed and said that only India and New Zealand are producing good quality Test match batsmen.
“Key was saying these things towards the end of his playing career, and this batting demise has been a long time coming. It’s not just England by the way. It’s red-ball batters around the world. It only seems to be the two World Test Championship finalists in New Zealand and India who are producing high-quality red-ball batsmen.”
Hussain, who represented England in 96 Test matches, said that the solution lies in playing cricket on better pitches. For this, he said ECB needs to look at the example set by New Zealand Cricket.
“Play on better pitches. We’ve had Simon Doull with us this season and he said New Zealand were going through this a few years ago. They decided to play on better pitches – not just flat – and four or five years down the line you can see the results in New Zealand’s Test batsmen. They have better techniques and they’re ready for Test cricket.”