Can’t see two spinners at Lord’s unless its a raging Bunsen: Nasser Hussain

The nature of the surface at Lord’s, venue for the second India vs England Test starting Thursday, and whether it merits each team playing an additional spinner, is a major talking point this week.

READ: England, India will aim to play two spinners at Lord’s: Eoin Morgan

While Eoin Morgan, England’s  limited-overs captain, and India’s most successful finger spinner in Test cricket with 417 wickets, Harbhajan Singh, feel that both teams will strongly consider playing two spinners on what is expected to be a dryer surface given the heat wave that England has reeled under this summer, former England skipper Nasser Hussain is not as convinced.

READ: India must play Pujara and Kuldeep at Lord’s: Harbhajan Singh

“Historically, it is not a ground I would go to and play two spinners. You look up at the Honours Board in both dressing rooms, there’s the odd occasion, Swann I think, where spin plays a massive role. Shane Warne never got five wickets here,” said Hussain during an event in London on Monday.

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Between India and England, Hussain – who led the country in 45 Test matches – felt the visiting team would be more tempted to play a second spinner.

“Just with the summer you are having there is a good argument to say if you can balance your side still to get two spinners in. India might. Now they [England] have got more right-handers and if [Ollie] Pope and [Chris] Woakes play, you may want someone spinning it the other way, whether it be [Ravindra] Jadeja or Kuldeep [Yadav] bowling his variations with a bit of mystery about it. So I would be more prone to India saying we will play two spinners than England,” said Hussain, who averaged 50.64 in 11 Tests at Lord’s.

England’s 13-man squad for the Lord’s Test includes the spin-bowling allrounder Moeen Ali, who did not feature in Birmingham as the hosts opted for the recalled Adil Rashid as the specialist spin bowler. In Hussain’s view, unless the conditions at Lord’s were alarmingly going to assist spinners, England were better placed handing a debut to Pope given that he was drafted in to replace the struggling Dawid Malan.

“Now that they have picked Pope I would probably have to play Pope. Unless you think it is going to be an absolute raging Bunsen, you could play one seamer less and Moeen,” he said. “But it would have to be a raging turner to make that (change) because obviously lot of right-handers in the Indian side.”