Dubai: Joe Root’s men came out with a “perfect performance” against India in the first Test, which they won by 227 runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, says former England captain Nasser Hussain.
Hussain, however, believes that England should expect India to “come back at them” in the remaining matches of the four-Test series, the second of which begins from Saturday at the same venue.
“People were writing England off, saying this series could be 4-0 to India. No one really gave this side much of a chance. India had been on top of their game. Had won in Australia, Virat Kohli was back and India is a very difficult place to go and win in Test match cricket,” wrote Hussain in his latest column for Sky Sports. “So, this win for England has to be right up there, especially away from home. They put in the perfect performance. From ball one to the final delivery, it was outstanding. They now need to carry it on.”
India had lost the first Test in Adelaide against Australia in their last tour, which saw them getting bowled out for their lowest-ever Test total of 36. However, under the leadership of stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane, they registered a stunning comeback to win two of the remaining three matches against Australia and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“England are going to have to expect India to come back at them,” said Hussain. “India lost the first Test in Australia, when they were bowled out for 36, but came back and won the series, while England might also lose the toss in the second Test and it will be harder. But they have done everything they can do so far.”
The 52-year-old further praised Root, who scored a brilliant 218 in the first innings and then followed it up with a quick-fire 40 in the first Test. Root, 30, has played 100 Tests scoring 8,507 runs with the help of 20 hundreds and 49 half centuries and is third on the list of leading run scorers for England.
“Root sure is one of England’s greats. He will probably end up breaking all records, he will probably go past Sir Alastair Cook’s 161 Test matches and probably tally of runs as well,” said Hussain.
“He is in great nick, only 30 years old, and if you did a list of all-time England batting greats — the ones I have seen anyway — you’d have to have Root with Cook, Graham Gooch and Kevin Pietersen.”