London, Jul 22: A "sloppy and clumsy" India have handed England the advantage in the opening Test, says former captain Nasser Hussain who feels the world number ones did not show the "smart cricket" which propelled them to the top.
England made 127/2 on a rain-hit opening day of the ongoing match at the Lord''s after Indians let slip the opportunity to grab more wickets.
"This was a sloppy day for India - and, so early in the series, a big one for England. When Mahendra Singh Dhoni won a very important toss, you wondered what lay in store for the hosts'' batsmen under grey skies and against a swinging ball.
To finish on 127 for two felt like a small triumph," said Hussain.
"They (the Indian bowlers) just weren''t full enough with the new ball, which should have been pitched up repeatedly to entice the drive. Too often they dropped short and wide.
"The India captain did not have his best day in charge, either. He''s set himself high standards by winning just about everything he turns his mind to. But he missed a couple of tricks in the field and didn''t get a glove on a chance from Trott that flew between him and Rahul Dravid at first slip," he explained.
Hussain said the Indians didn''t come across too eager on the field.
"It all felt a bit clumsy from a team who have prided themselves on smart cricket during their rise to the top of the world rankings. But in some ways it''s not too much of a surprise," Hussain said.
"There''s been a piecemeal feel to the start of India''s tour. Some have arrived from the Caribbean, some haven''t played any first-class cricket since January, some have been playing in the IPL. It felt a bit like they were making it up as they went along yesterday," he said.
On Indian pace spearhead Zaheer Khan picking up a hamstring strain during the match, Hussain said it was a sign that the bowler is ageing fast.
"Although he clearly remains a very skillful bowler, he seems to be ageing quickly and it was always asking a lot for a guy who has barely bowled with the red ball in recent months to come through unscathed here.
"It's why I believe this England side will eventually overtake India in Test cricket. Their bowlers are always well-prepared, they get the right amount of rest and they don't play in the IPL. England know how to peak," he said.
But Hussain still gave India the upperhand in the series.
"That's not to say India won't win this series, because they still have loads of quality in their team, but this is not the start they needed," he said.