England tour of India - Cricket: Hussain blames Englands defeat on poor fielding

Published: Friday, December 7, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Mohali: England skipper Nasser Hussain on Thursday said sloppy fielding was one of the main reasons for his team's defeat in the opening Test match against India in Mohali."I think we fielded very poorly," he said after his team's 10-wicket defeat in the opening match of the three-Test series. "Letting off batsmen like Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly and Deep Dasgupta were costly mistakes."England missed four catches and one stumping in the match that it lost with more than a day to spare. Wicket-keeper-batsman Dasgupta went on to score his maiden Test century, while Dravid and captain Ganguly made 86 and 47, respectively, to help India gain a vital 231-run first innings lead.Hussain said his batsmen would also have to raise their performance against Indian spinners in the remaining two Tests at Ahmedabad and Bangalore to keep the series alive."We should have scored 350 in the first innings and that looked a possibility with Graham Thorpe and me in the middle on the first day," he said. Hussain was the top-scorer in the first innings with 85 and Thorpe, in the second, with 62 as the tourists twice faltered against the Indian spinners.Leg spinner Anil Kumble and off spinner Harbhajan Singh troubled England the most, sharing 15 wickets in the match. "We have to learn how to bat against spinners on this tour, and learn very fast," Hussain said, adding he was confident his team would put up a better show in the next two matches."We have done that in the past in Pakistan and Sri Lanka," he said, referring to his team's Test series victories against these countries on their last tour.But Ganguly said his team was aiming for a clean sweep. "A 3-0 verdict is a possibility," he said. "Our spinners are doing very well and I am hopeful of winning the next two Tests."The Indian captain was all praise for Kumble, who was named man of the match for his six-wicket haul in the second innings. "He is a match-winner and complements Harbhajan very well. I think we have the spinners to complete a sweep," he said.Kumble, out of international cricket for nearly a year due to a shoulder injury, said he was satisfied with his performance after an unimpressive tour of South Africa."It is nice to be back among wickets," Kumble said. "It is not easy getting wickets in international cricket. I just stuck to the basics and kept a good line and length in the second innings."

Copyright AFP 2001

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