Hussain says India a 'ragged' side; also blames IPL

Nasser Hussain questioned Zaheer Khan’s fitness and selection for the Lord’s Test despite having not enough match practice Getty Images

London, Jul 25, 2011

Former England cricket captain Nasser Hussain has called India a “ragged” side, whose players are not well looked after due to the IPL, and insisted that this would precisely be the reason why the English would go past them in the ongoing Test series.

“India? Let’s face it, they were very ragged. It’s been noticeable that the guys who have done well for them in this Test — Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Rahul Dravid — were all out in the Caribbean recently,” Hussain said.

“But too many of the others have come into this series just expecting to be attuned to the demands of Test cricket. Look at Zaheer Khan. We’re told he’s India’s attack leader, but it’s beyond belief that he was allowed to play in this Test with so little bowling behind him,” he wrote in The Daily Mail.

Hussain said while the IPL has helped Indian cricket in many ways, it has also created a situation wherein the players don’t seem to be well looked after.

“For him not to bowl at all in the second innings against Somerset was curious in the extreme. I’ve said before that the Indian Premier League has helped India get to where they are. It’s given their players exposure to pressure situations and added an extra flair and muscularity to their one-day game,” he said.

“But the IPL has meant they don’t get to look after their players as well as, say, England do. It may not happen during this series, but eventually England will go past them for this very reason,” Hussain added.

England, who are defending a mammoth total of 458 on the final day, showed themselves to resilient in the face of pressure, said Hussain.

“In the old days, a scoreline of 62 for five could easily have turned into 120 all out. But (Matt) Prior (who scored an unbeaten 103) was just the man for the job. He thrives under pressure, he has a good attitude and although it would be easy to call him a ‘selfless’ cricketer, I think that’s just his natural way of batting,” he said.