A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: India’s ‘bravado’ turned out to be their own undoing, says Nasser Hussain

England fought back after learning from their mistakes during the first Test

Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes that India’s “bravado” and overconfidence during their four-Test series against England turned out to be their own undoing after suffering a shocking, yet humiliating 2-1 loss in front of their home fans.

Hussain noted that Dhoni’s constant requests to have turning pitches throughout the series gave England spin duo Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar a lot of assistance as they continued to rip through the Indian batting lineup with relative ease after losing the first Test in Ahmedabad by nine wickets.

“India are not the side they were,” Hussain wrote in his column for the Daily Mail. “If I was putting together a composite side from the two teams I would start by picking the whole England attack. England, for once, had better spinners than India in Indian conditions.

“The tourists were fitter, both physically and mentally, and hungrier for Test cricket. India would not have been able to take four wickets late in a day, after two sessions without a wicket, as England did on Saturday. India went one up and just thought they could prepare a turning pitch and England would crumble. They showed too much bravado. And England made them pay very heavily indeed for that.”

Hussain stated that England had done well to learn from their mistakes in the first Test and praised captain Alastair Cook for motivating and energising his squad to bounce back and prove to their critics that the national team can survive in subcontinent conditions.

“But the second innings there [first Test] proved [to be] a turning point both in this series and in the future of this team,” Hussain said. “Without it things could look very different now.

“When Alastair Cook scored a big hundred in a losing cause in Ahmedabad in that second innings things changed. It was the moment the captain said to his team: ‘Hang on, there are no demons here. The ball is not spinning both ways. If we show some character, application and belief we can do this.’ And since then the transformation has been astonishing.

“Everything England have done since then has been right. And their business has been conducted in a quite ruthless manner. There has been no dilly-dallying, no worrying about reputations. This has been anything but a closed shop.”

While pace bowler Tim Bresnan may have done a decent job for England in the first Test, he was dropped for the rest of the series for the left-arm spin of Panesar, who, along with flamboyant batsman Kevin Pietersen, both received high praise from Hussain.

“Tim Bresnan has been a very good cricketer for England but as soon as Cook and Andy Flower realised they had made a mistake in not picking Monty Panesar for the first Test the Yorkshireman was gone,” Hussain added. “England basically had to nail everything to win this series after going one down and they did it. Look at Kevin Pietersen. He was a frenetic wreck in the first Test and only had a couple of days to come up with a defensive technique against his old nemesis, left-arm spin. What happened? He went out and smashed 186 in Mumbai.”

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