Thatscricket - News - Sydney win should not cover up Eng's faults: Hussain
Published: Sunday, January 12, 2003, 21:27 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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London: England captain Nasser Hussain has warned that his side's 225-run victory in the fifth and final Ashes Test against Australia at Sydney earlier this month must not be used to cover up major weaknesses in English cricket.[an error occurred while processing this directive]"Otherwise it would have been better if we had lost 5-0 (England lost the series 4-1) because that would have forced us all to take a closer look," Hussain wrote in his Sunday Telegraph' newspaper column.Hussain, 34, who on Saturday was a member of an England team that staged one of its typical batting collapses while losing a triangular series One-day International against Australia by seven runs in Hobart, said one-off Test wins were not good enough."Eight times in a row now we have lost a Test series against Australia, but in the last six of them we have won a match, usually when the series has been decided," he wrote."While the Sydney win was worth celebrating we must not lose sight of the fact that it was the same old story of England being outplayed by Australia when the series was at stake and we must look to change the nature of our cricket as a result," the Essex batsman added.But Hussain said some help was at hand if more groundsmen followed the example set by English second division Northamptonshire at their Wantage Road base in Northampton."It is the only ground in England that I know of which is regularly like a Test pitch overseas, like Sydney, or those in India and Pakistan, or South Africa and West Indies," Hussain explained."Good batsmen make a lot of runs on it, like Northamptonshire's (Australian) overseas player Mike Hussey and only good bowlers can take wickets."In my opinion we have to produce Northampton-like pitches if we are ever going to take 20 wickets against Australia rather than let them pile up its usual totals of 500 for six in 110 overs."Our bowlers have to learn accuracy, because if they are an inch out batsmen like (Australia's) Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, (India's) Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, with all their experience of One-day batting will take them apart."The days when an opening batsman just protected his off stump like (England's) Geoffrey Boycott have gone."Hussain also called on his long-suffering attack to demonstrate greater variety although he admitted, "You shouldn't be starting to learn when you are already playing for England."He added that this was an area where England had missed injured paceman Darren Gough who was sidelined for the entire Test series with a knee problem.Only raw pace such as that produced by Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar or New Zealand's Shane Bond or "mystery spin" of the kind bowled by India's Harbhajan Singh or Sri Lanka's Muthiah Muralitharan would, Hussain said, take wickets against Australia.And Hussain was adamant that England needed to discover quickly why it did not have similar bowlers. "The whole youth coaching structure needs to be looked at to find out why we're not producing such types and why our pitches don't lend themselves to them."
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