Nasser Hussain: England missed opportunity with team selection in New Zealand

Nasser Hussain questioned whether England did anything to improve their future chances of winning away from home during their Test series defeat to New Zealand.

England lost the two-match series 1-0 after having to settle for a draw in the second Test in Hamilton.

The result continues a poor run of away form for England that has seen them win just two of their last 11 series on the road.

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While there were positives, such as the first-innings batting display in the second Test, former England captain Hussain told The Cricket Debate – which you can listen to in the player below or by downloading here – that it was a missed opportunity.

“What is their area of concern? Winning matches away from home. They had opportunities and yet they continually revert to type. They go back to 85mph bowlers, they leave out their spinner, play five seamers and make ridiculous decisions.

“When you select a team there has to be short-term thinking – what is this pitch, I will select a team to win this game – but selection has to also be about looking ahead of you, so that when we do go abroad on flat pitches like this, you can say have we in any way improved our chances? I would say from this tour we have done nothing at all to improve our chances of winning away from home.”

Hussain, in particular, felt England should have picked a spinner in the second Test, rather than dropping Jack Leach and going with an all-pace attack.

“They could have learnt more about Jack Leach; can he bowl in these conditions? They had [spinner] Matt Parkinson there, and could have learnt a lot more. As it is they have lost 1-0 without learning absolutely anything.

“Why pick Parkinson and [Saqib] Mahmood? What was the point? You have to give them a chance and the opportunity has been missed.

“Batsmen get another chance, but Jack Leach comes in, does OK, then somebody has a gut feel that ‘Jack Leach hasn’t spun it in the last game’…I don’t know how you can go into a Test match on a pitch like that without a frontline spinner.”

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