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Sport Hussain questions England decision to rest Bairstow for Chennai tests

08:20  24 january  2021
08:20  24 january  2021 Source:   reuters.com

Nasser Hussain catches up with Sri Lanka legend Mahela Jayawardene

  Nasser Hussain catches up with Sri Lanka legend Mahela Jayawardene NASSER HUSSAIN: Sri Lanka are raring to go ahead of facing an under-prepared England for a two-Test series, and the hosts see an opportunity for an upset. England head into the series without Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes and with less than two days of match practice, while Sri Lanka are keen to bounce-back after a series defeat to South Africa. Sportsmail's NASSER HUSSAIN caught up with Sri Lanka legend and Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene ahead of the series.

Former captain Nasser Hussain has questioned England 's decision to rest Jonny Bairstow for the first two tests against India next month, saying the Cricket - England Nets - Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - September 2, 2019 England 's Jonny Bairstow during nets Action Images via

England will play the first two Tests against India without Jonny Bairstow as the batsman is handed his rest period in a bumper year of 17 Test matches So why when it's the first Test against India, one of the great sides, aren't we sending our best team," says Nasser Hussain on England 's rotation policy.

LONDON (Reuters) - Former captain Nasser Hussain has questioned England's decision to rest Jonny Bairstow for the first two tests against India next month, saying the batsman's spin proficiency was particularly needed at the start of the "iconic series".

a baseball player holding a bat on a field: FILE PHOTO: International Twenty20 - South Africa v England © Reuters/MIKE HUTCHINGS FILE PHOTO: International Twenty20 - South Africa v England

As part of England's policy of resting multi-format players, Bairstow, along with Sam Curran and Mark Wood, will be cooling their heels after the ongoing test series in Sri Lanka.

"I would say it's a concern that one of England's best three players of spin - I would say Bairstow is alongside Joe Root and Ben Stokes in that - has been given a boarding pass home and the others are going to Chennai," Hussain told Sky Sports Cricket.

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The decision to rest Bairstow for the start of the series leaves England with fewer selection headaches than they might have anticipated. After missing the series in Sri Lanka following a positive Covid test , Moeen Ali will be in contention for the first two Tests in Chennai , which start on February

From the seam attack to Jonny Bairstow 's place in the team, Jonathan Agnew answers the questions facing England after defeat by South Africa. But, while there are positive signs for England to take out of the match, there are questions that must be answered.

"Should you be resting or rotating for India or do you turn up to the first test of that India series, an iconic series, and pick your best side?

"England fans switching on when it is turning and England are 20-2 may well have the argument, 'I want to see our best batsman against spin, or one of them, in Bairstow'."


Video: Pant smashes India to series win for the ages (Reuters)

Hussain was aware of the "nightmare" England players have gone through playing series in bio-secure bubbles since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March last year.

"It is that balancing act of being fair to the public and winning what's in front of you and long-term planning all year."

England have alternated veterans James Anderson and Stuart Broad in recent times but Hussain made a case for playing both the seamers who share 1100-plus test wickets between them.

"So we are maybe going to leave out Anderson or Broad and play the spinner in Dom Bess. Do you think that is the right thing to do?

"At the moment our seamers are out-bowling our spinners, so shouldn't we show faith in them?"

The four-test series begins on Feb. 5 with Chennai hosting the first two matches while the last two will be played in Ahmedabad.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by...)

Kohli's buoyant India out to spoil Root's 100th Test .
Joe Root was at his brilliant best in Sri Lanka and will be looking to bring India back down to earth in his landmark Test.Depleted India defied the odds to come from behind and secure a 2-1 series win in Australia despite being without a host of key players, including captain Virat Kohli.

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