Nottingham, June 14 (Ajit Weekly News) Former England skipper Nasser Hussain has said England showed the right attacking instinct on Day 4 of the second Test at Trent Bridge on Monday, and have given themselves a huge chance of taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-Test series.
He added that a score in excess of 500 could dent any team’s confidence but seeing Ben Stokes’ side match New Zealand with the bat was heartening.
“When a captain puts a team in and then sees them make 553 it can really dent his confidence and make him go out in the field thinking his side have a huge task on their hands. So for England to all but chase that down on Monday, with smart rather than reckless intent, and then put real pressure on New Zealand with the ball was a fantastic effort,” said Hussain in his column for Daily Mail on Tuesday.
New Zealand posed a mammoth 553 in the first innings, but England’s batting stood up to the challenge, notching up 539 aided by centuries from former captain Joe Root and Ollie Pope. England then reduced the tourists to 224/7 at stumps on Day 4 to give themselves a big chance to win the game on Tuesday.
“All the way down the order England looked to be attacking, carrying that on on Monday, and it is a very good sign they have backed up words about positive intentions with actions. It has helped that conditions here (Trent Bridge), with pace in the pitch throughout and a quick outfield, have suited that style and there will remain times when the ball is nibbling around that they will have to temper that approach,” added Hussain.
He said that skipper Ben Stokes and new head coach Brendon McCullum had instilled confidence in the side, which had been passing through a rough patch for quite some time now.
“Cricket can knock you and make you negative — as it has done for England over the last couple of years — but what Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum have already done is remind these England players that representing your country should and can be fun. They even enjoyed chasing 550-plus!”
He said Tuesday will be the first true test of the Stokes-McCullum “philosophy” to try and always win. “They have said they want to always try to win games and they have given themselves an opportunity to win this one against all odds. That flurry of five wickets in the final session (on Monday) has given England a real chance of facing a target below the five an over they would fancy chasing on the final day,” opined the England legend.
–Ajit Weekly News