Nasser Hussain: England needed to be smarter in chase against India in first ODI

Nasser Hussain

“I just don’t think they were smart enough today”; Nasser Hussain says England failed to show the nous that helped them to World Cup glory as they faltered in their chase against India and lost the first ODI by 66 runs

Nasser Hussain believes England needed to be “smarter” in their run-chase as they fell to a 66-run defeat to India in the first one-day international.

Eoin Morgan’s side raced to 135-0 inside 15 overs in Pune, chasing 318 to win, but were bowled out for 251 as the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

The collapse brought England’s adventurous approach with the bat into question but Hussain thinks it is a case of showing more of the intelligence that helped them to triumph in the World Cup.

“England will look at themselves – 135-0 in 14 overs and two balls, chasing that score, did they need to be a little bit smarter?” the Sky Sports pundit and former England captain said.

“How much did they miss Joe Root, just to come in and knock it around and before you look at it, Root is often 40 off 50 deliveries and he’s soaked up pressure.

“England have this way of going hard but they showed in the last World Cup, there are times when they can just sit in and be smart – you don’t win a lower-scoring World Cup than people thought without having that capability.

“I just don’t think they were smart enough today, especially Kuldeep [Yadav] was really struggling so they had effectively four and a half bowlers. They had to force Virat [Kohli] to bowl Hardik Pandya but they kept losing wickets, so Kuldeep could just come on at the end and the game was already lost.”

Hussain expects England to continue with the aggressive style that has brought them so much success in the 50-over format, though, and praised Morgan’s ability to provide his team with a clear message of what he wants from them.

“He is an incredibly smart cookie, Eoin Morgan, when he does post-match interviews – he’s not speaking to us, he’s speaking to his team,” he added.

“He said, ‘I want my side to go out there with no-fear cricket, this is not how we’re going to play’ and because of that clarity and method, that message was sent to the team and they won a World Cup.

“They were smart. It wasn’t 450 or 500 like some people said it would be (in the 2019 tournament), they won quite a few low-scoring games. He’s got a few younger lads in the squad and he’s just letting them know clearly, this is still the method.

“‘Eventually we might tinker, but while you’re here we’re going to continue down this road’. But at some stage he will realise they should have won this game today by having more nous.”

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