Nasser Hussain: ‘England will become better with days like this – you can’t attack all the time’ | Cricket News

Nasser Hussain

Cricket Expert & Columnist

Sky Sports’ Nasser Hussain: “During five days of a Test match, I’m not sure it can be all-out attack. Twenty boundaries before lunch is a lot” | England bowling coach, Jon Lewis: “You can always bowl a slightly different length but we are choosing the aggressive option”

Last Updated: 11/06/22 8:24 am

Highlights from day one of the second LV = Insurance Test as Trent Bridge as New Zealand closed on 318-4 after being inserted by England

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Highlights from day one of the second LV = Insurance Test as Trent Bridge as New Zealand closed on 318-4 after being inserted by England

Highlights from day one of the second LV = Insurance Test as Trent Bridge as New Zealand closed on 318-4 after being inserted by England

Nasser Hussain said “days like this will make English cricket better” after Ben Stokes’ side were made to toil by New Zealand at Trent Bridge.

The Black Caps closed day one of the second LV = Insurance Test on 318-4 after being inserted, with Daryl Mitchell (81no) and Tom Blundell (67no) sharing an unbroken stand of 149 from 169-4.

Seventeen wickets fell on the opening day of the first Test at Lord’s, which England went on to win by five wickets early on the fourth morning, but bat dominated ball in Nottingham on Friday.

Catch up on all the best moments from day one of the Trent Bridge Test with The Late Cut

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Catch up on all the best moments from day one of the Trent Bridge Test with The Late Cut

Catch up on all the best moments from day one of the Trent Bridge Test with The Late Cut

England’s day would have been better if not for three dropped catches, one of which came when Mitchell was on just three as former skipper Joe Root spilled a regulation opportunity at slip.

Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow then left a catching chance to each other in the slip cordon late in the evening session as Blundell was spared on 63.

Speaking afterwards, Sky Sports Cricket expert Hussain said: “These sorts of days will make English cricket better in the future.

“There are days away from home where you have to work seriously hard – England have a tour of Pakistan coming up [in the winter] and we have seen those pitches.

“If days like this don’t break you, they will make you stronger. This is Test match cricket, it is hard work.

England dropped three catches on day one in Nottingham, with Daryl Mitchell reprieved by Joe Root on just three

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England dropped three catches on day one in Nottingham, with Daryl Mitchell reprieved by Joe Root on just three

England dropped three catches on day one in Nottingham, with Daryl Mitchell reprieved by Joe Root on just three

“Jack Leach got a longer bowl [getting through 18 overs]. We found out about Matthew Potts – and will now find out on Saturday morning whether he can go again physically. “

Hussain saw no issues with Stokes’ decision at the toss, considering none of New Zealand’s top three in this Test – Tom Latham, Will Young and Devon Conway – had passed 15 in either innings at Lord’s and the fact the Black Caps were missing usual captain Kane Williamson due to Covid-19.

But he did question whether the hosts were too aggressive amid largely unresponsive bowling conditions in the first session as the tourists plundered 20 boundaries and 108 runs in total.

It marked the first time over 100 runs has been scored before lunch on day one of a Test match in the United Kingdom since England were 108-2 against West Indies at Edgbaston in 2017.

Nasser Hussain shares his thoughts on England's decision to bowl first and whether they were too aggressive with the ball

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Nasser Hussain shares his thoughts on England’s decision to bowl first and whether they were too aggressive with the ball

Nasser Hussain shares his thoughts on England’s decision to bowl first and whether they were too aggressive with the ball

Hussain added: “You absolutely understand why Stokes had a bowl.

“Geen pitch, two world-class bowlers, in James Anderson and Stuart Broad, with fantastic records here, Williamson missing and a New Zealand top three that struggled in the last Test.

“For me, it’s more about the mindset of the team and the positivity they speak about.

England on day one – courageous and aggressive or too attacking?

“I still think that the way a Test match flows, that when you have made that decision to bowl and then you go out there and see the ball is not doing that much, you have to think, ‘let’s just sit in a little bit here and then attack after 35 overs when it does usually start swinging at Trent Bridge ‘.

“I still think Ben needs to learn the time to defend and the time to attack. During five days of a Test match, I’m not sure it can be all-out attack.

“Twenty boundaries before lunch. I know in the past we have said England’s bowlers can pitch the ball up a bit further, be a bit more risk-reward, but 20 boundaries before lunch is a lot.”

A fan decided to take a nap at Trent Bridge and missed the wicket of Devon Conway, while, a few overs later, a six from Mitchell plopped straight into a spectator's pint glass!

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A fan decided to take a nap at Trent Bridge and missed the wicket of Devon Conway, while, a few overs later, a six from Mitchell plopped straight into a spectator’s pint glass!

A fan decided to take a nap at Trent Bridge and missed the wicket of Devon Conway, while, a few overs later, a six from Mitchell plopped straight into a spectator’s pint glass!

England bowling coach Jon Lewis said: “The most important thing about the decision at the toss is that it was the aggressive play.

“We were coming out to bowl New Zealand out. Unfortunately we missed a couple of chances but that’s cricket.

“You can always bowl a slightly different length but we are choosing, at the moment, to take the aggressive option and be courageous in what we do.

“At times in games, with bat or ball, you’ll see times where it doesn’t go our way but I liked the areas the guys bowled.

“It was a really honest day’s work. I thought there was threat all day, the boys went past the bat and caught the edge of the bat. We could have easily bowled them out for 250 and be sat now in a very different position. “

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Conway pleased with New Zealand’s positivity

New Zealand batter Conway made 46 on the opening day at Trent Bridge having moved up from No 4 to No 3 in Williamson’s absence.

The left-hander shared a half-century stand with the returning Henry Nicholls (30) after two wickets in as many balls – one each for Stokes and Anderson, who removed Young (47) and Latham (26) respectively – had seen the Black Caps slip from 84-0 to 84-2.

Jimmy Anderson dismissed Conway for 46 during the afternoon session at Trent Bridge, before Mitchell and Tom Blundell rallied New Zealand from 169-4

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Jimmy Anderson dismissed Conway for 46 during the afternoon session at Trent Bridge, before Mitchell and Tom Blundell rallied New Zealand from 169-4

Jimmy Anderson dismissed Conway for 46 during the afternoon session at Trent Bridge, before Mitchell and Tom Blundell rallied New Zealand from 169-4

Conway, whose side scored 43 boundaries in total on the day, added: “We set about trying to be more aggressive and have that positive mindset with intent to score.

“That was something we lacked at times in the first Test but we are reaping those rewards after day one here.

“The pitch looked a bit green on top this morning so we would have probably bowled first but it was not thinking too much about the surface.

“England bowled quite full and asked questions of us, but that provided us with scoring opportunities.”

Watch day two of the second LV = Insurance Test between England and New Zealand, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.15am on Saturday.​​​​​​

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