Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes the selectors made a mistake by deciding to rest Johnny Bairstow for the first two matches of the four-Test series against India.
Hussain has asked England selectors to reconsider their decision. Bairstow scored 47 and 35 not out in the first Test match against Sri Lanka in Gaul last week.
Keeping Bairstow out of the first two Tests is part of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) policy of resting players on a busy schedule. England have to participate in 17 Tests and the ICC T20 World Cup this calendar year.
‘Bairstow plays well against spin’
Hussain told Sky Sports, ‘I mean to say that this is a matter of concern as he is one of the three best batsmen in England against spin. These three players include Bairstow with Joe Root and Ben Stokes but have been asked to return home and the rest are going to Chennai.
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“This has to be reconsidered,” said Husain. The phase that the player has gone through (COVID-19 Pandemic) is like a nightmare. He had to spend days in a bio-safe environment last summer and then in the IPL (Indian Premier League). After that the players went to South Africa, are now in Sri Lanka, then will go to India and then play in the IPL.
‘Series against India is important’
The former captain said, ‘I am not underestimating this situation at all. It is a difficult task for the selectors but you have to be your best team for the first Test match against India. You should focus on rotation or rest for the Indian tour or choose your best team after taking care of the first Test match of this important series.
‘Indian team is full of confidence’
Nasir said that the selectors are accountable to the fans of England for not defeating Australia 2–1 on their soil and choosing their best team against a confident Indian team.
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He said, “When the wicket is taking a turn, England fans see that the score is 20 for two.” Then they can question. I want my best batsman against spin in the team and Bairstow is such a batsman or is included in such batsmen.