London, Jan 17 (IANS) Former England captain Nasser Hussain has called for an overhaul in the way red-ball cricket is being played in the country from top to bottom. He added that the 4-0 drubbing in the 2021/22 Ashes has given a realisation that every Test match played by England is extremely important.
The thrashing in the Ashes series in Australia has resulted in many calling for a reboot in England’s way of approaching and playing red-ball matches at the international and domestic level.
“The reset should be from top to bottom in our red-ball game. Do not just look at the squad and coaching staff. The problems lie right through county cricket. The key areas are batting and spin bowling and there is no easy fix apart from getting back to the basics of coaching, when we play first-class cricket, the pitches and possibly the ball,” wrote Hussain in his column for Daily Mail on Monday.
Hussain further said giving over-the-top importance to the Ashes should stop and that every Test match carries seriousness.
“Most importantly, whoever is in charge in the Caribbean, they need to focus on winning the next game. Respect every Test team we play. The mindset that the Ashes is all-important annoys me. I’m sick of hearing about the Ashes two years out.”
“In 2013, Andy Flower made crystal clear to all of his team that they were not going to be talking about the Ashes before it started. Of course, there has to be future planning but we are constantly looking far, too far ahead. This Ashes has shown us that every Test is really important and it is time English cricket realised that from top to bottom.”
The 53-year-old remarked that he has no problem in Joe Root wishing to continue as England captain but doesn’t believe that there is no alternative to the Test captaincy apart from him. After losing by 146 runs at Hobart, Root had vowed to continue as the Test skipper despite a 4-0 mauling.
“I’m fine with Joe carrying on but I’m not buying it that there is no one else. Someone will surprise you. When I packed it in, Vaughan was not the first name people thought of but he came to be a great captain. Joe does not feel like he is done as captain and you have to factor that in.”
“With most England skippers – me, Michael Vaughan, Michael Atherton – it smacks you between the eyes when you are done. It is good if Joe has the hunger to carry on and he has been incredible with the bat. But the last thing I want is to do what we always do after losing the Ashes: sack captain or coach and think it will be fine.”