New Delhi: Former England captain Nasser Hussain was critical of the balance in the Jos Buttler-led side after losing the T20I series to Bangladesh, while adding that an extra batter should have been called as a replacement for injured Will Jacks.
Buttler’s side faced a four-wicket loss in the second T20I on Sunday as Bangladesh sealed a series victory with one game to spare. Jacks himself was a late addition to the tour of Bangladesh after Tom Abell pulled out before the first ODI due to an injury.
Jacks ruled out of the tour later because of thigh injury meant England did not draft anyone in as a replacement, with all-rounders Sam Curran and Moeen Ali promoted up the batting order.
“The selectors have a difficult juggling act. They’ve got one of the great series coming up in the Ashes. So, they are trying to rest their Test match players. They’ve got white-ball players playing Test match cricket. They’ve got lads that are injured. They’ve got the county season starting soon.”
“But we’ve got 18 counties, if we can’t put an extra batter or two on the ground in Bangladesh, if it means flying (Ollie) Pope or (Zak) Crawley, who I think will be a good white-ball cricketer, I don’t think it’s good enough to say we are one batter short.”
“We are the England cricket team, it’s an important tour. We saw what it meant to Bangladesh, and we have to treat it with the same respect. They didn’t have the right balance of squad.”
While saying he understood the logic behind not finding replacements, Hussain added, “I can guess there are a few England cricketers who play for counties that would like to be playing out there.”
“The players that will be there for the next World Cup get the extra responsibility, so I get a little bit of the thinking. Curran, Woakes, Jordan, Ahmed got a bat on difficult conditions on a difficult pitch.”
Hussain was also critical of Buttler’s decision-making in the field, particularly choosing not to trust his spinners when they took the game deep and not opting to open the batting in the second T20I.
“Fair play to Bangladesh. 2-0 against the world champions, and they’ve played some terrific cricket. Shanto is going to be a star in the making. They need to start finding fine cricketers. That’s a big win for them.”
“England haven’t been at their best on or off the field. Buttler hasn’t had his best day. He should’ve opened the batting, some of the fields he set and asking someone to bowl their only over in the 19th over is a big, big risk.”
“Rashid bowled okay. Sometimes when he has been to the subcontinent he bowls a certain pace. I thought they could’ve attacked a bit more. You have got to attack more with your best spinner.”