Nasser Hussain says??as they kept the Ashes, even though England showing resilience and character in their efforts to conserve the match on the day, Australia were winners of the fourth Test at Old Trafford.
England began the afternoon two wickets down, having lost Rory Burns and captain Joe Root to successive deliveries on the fourth day, but battled their way in the final session of this fifth day before finally being bowled out for 197 with 13.3 overs left.
Even though Hussain applauded England’s attempts, he added that it would have been travesty had England headed using the show tied at 1-1.
“You can’t fault the character and the resilience of this England side,” said Hussain. “Other England sides would’ve crumbled into a heap, in all honesty, same with all the previous match at Headingley.
“Coming here, on a week-long Old Trafford pitch, so they’d have been dismissed. They were not; they revealed lots of character and fight.
“Joe Denly played well however, the problem is, they often find themselves 10-2, 20-2. From that, you can come back against sides that are some. Against this assault that is , you can not.
“Let’s be honest, if England had gone to The Oval at 1-1, it would have been a bit of a travesty. England has been outplayed by australia.
“Ben Stokes in Headingley maintained them within this series with a remarkable innings. If they’d gone into The Oval at 1-1they wouldn’t have thought their luck. They are not, they’re likely in 2-1 down.”
Hussain asserts that England’s major wicket-taker James Anderson to injury in the first Test’s loss did not help their cause, nor has a choice policy since.
“Let’s not forget one point, three overs to his Ashes, Anderson got injured. He is a fantastic bowler in England; that’s a massive blowoff,” added Hussain. “It’s lucky England’d Jofra Archer on standby. This series could have been done and dusted otherwise.
“I think England didn’t help themselves with choice sometimes. Australia selected.
“Jason Roy at the top of the purchase. The selectors, occasionally, have got a bit smart . ‘Because Buttler worked season, let’s try this again’.
“Michael Atherton stated this afternoon, this summer should show you there’s a enormous difference between red-ball batting along with white-ball batting.
“The selectors must have seen how hard Roy goes at the ball, they need to have spoken to Surrey, asked why they don’t open with him?
“This was an error and, coming , I’d really like to know why Chris Woakes was left , provided his stats in England?
“How is Woakes not the third best bowler in England, particularly when Anderson is missing, Mark Wood is lost, Olly Stone is lost?
“Craig Overton did really well out there now, really brave, brightly courageous, however there was a drop-off after Stuart Broad and Archer yesterday after tea, visiting Overton.”
Sir Ian Botham echoed the thoughts of Hussain with their stable of quick bowlers, directed by Pat Cummins.
“I was amazed [by England’s fight], given how in which the match was going – Australia coming out last night and rapping on those two quick wickets,” said Botham.
“You constantly try to target the Root and captain was taken out first ball. That sent shockwaves and they did quite well to fight back.
“But Australia have been magnificent. It disturbs me to say , feel me. They have been fantastic.
“The attack, you’ve got to take your hat off to them. Cummins, I believe, is exceptional. It is possible to see why he’s the best bowler in the world at the moment, rated No 1. Josh Hazlewood also, he will be climbing up those positions.”
Watch day one of the fifth and final Ashes Test live on Sky Sports The Ashes September 12, from 10am on Thursday.
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