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“Before we condemn Joe Root…”: Nasser Hussain explains why England captain opted to bat first in Brisbane



England captain Joe Root’s decision to bat first on the fresh Gabba pitch drew criticism after he was bowled out for 147 on the first day of the first Test against Australia in Brisbane. Former England captain Nasser Hussain, however, tried to explain the possible reasons behind Root’s decision. Hussain said one should not forget that even Australia captain Pat Cummins would have batted first if he had won the toss and it was indeed a “good toss for loss” scenario.

“Before we condemn Joe Root for making the wrong decision at the toss, it should be remembered that both captains were going to have a bat when the coin went up. It was a classic ‘toss to lose’ scenario as Root and Cummins would have known history told him that he should probably have made the first knock, but looking at the pitch, his tendency would have been to bowl. That was the issue,” Hussain wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.

England lost opener Rory Burns on the first ball and never recovered from the initial setback. He was eventually dismissed in just 50.1 overs by Australia captain Cummins taking five wickets in his captaincy debut.

Hussain said it was a difficult task for Root not to look past before deciding what to do at the toss.

“As I said before the first Test, Root had to forget what has happened in the past at the Gabba and do what he thought was right. Sometimes you can complicate things and I certainly did. I did it all those years ago from. Wrong by batting this time,” said Hussain.

The former top-order admitted that he really wanted Root to lose the toss.

“I wanted Root, as an England fan, to lose the toss. I could see the mind game in front of me in the making of it. It can be forgotten if you bat first and get it wrong but maybe Only sometimes if you bowl,” he said.

Explaining the reason behind the desire of both the captains to bat first, Hussain said that he would have thought that the match would go ahead instead of the first day.

“So those thoughts sat on one of Joe’s shoulders, but on the other he would have seen a green pitch, rain all around and knew he had a strong bowling line-up and a delicate batting. What to do with this But this fight is going on in his mind.


“Why did both captains want to bat? They were thinking not only about what the pitch looked like on the first day, but also how it might develop as the game progressed. And they would know that one day a softer There will be an indentation along the pitch that has been made and it will get sharper as the game progresses.

“They must be wondering what if the sun comes out and with the humidity in Brisbane, the cracks are likely to widen. You have to think about the second innings as well as the captain before the Test. There are so many gray areas, “They said.

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