Struggling England opener Keaton Jennings shouldn’t tour Sri Lanka: Nasser Hussain
Keaton Jennings’ latest dismissal, bowled by Mohammed Shami, lowered his batting average to 18.11 in five Tests against India. @Getty

Former England captain turned TV analyst Nasser Hussain has taken a u-turn on his views on whether the selectors should give an extended run to out-of-sorts Test opener Keaton Jennings, saying that the left-hander’s latest failures at Kia Oval should rule him out of this winter’s tour to Sri Lanka.

Writing for the Daily Mail, Hussain expressed doubts over Jennings’ ability to play spin after he was out for 23 and 10 during the ongoing fifth Test versus India at Kia Oval.

“If you’d asked me before this game whether I’d have taken Jennings to Sri Lanka, I’ve have said yes. But his two dismissals here at The Oval have – reluctantly – changed my mind. He’s supposed to be a good player of spin, which is why England are keen to take him on tour, but to get out caught at leg slip, more or less off the face of the bat, was a dozy piece of cricket. The bowler Ravindra Jadeja often gets players out that way with his left-arm spin, so it was careless of Jennings – almost as if he’d forgotten the man was there.”

Jennings’ latest dismissal, bowled by Mohammed Shami when leaving a ball from around the stumps, lowered his batting average to 18.11 in five Tests against India this summer. The 26-year-old in December 2016 scored 112 in his first innings on Test debut in India, but since being dismissed for 0 in the second innings of that match, has passed 50 just once.

To boot, he has dropped several catches during this series against India.

“Jennings has also dropped a few catches this summer, including an easy one at silly point that would have polished India off for 260,” wrote Hussain. “I prefer to give a guy one game too many rather than one too few, and it’s certainly true that life for left-handed openers has been tough in England over the past couple of years. But I wouldn’t take him to Sri Lanka.

“There are only so many opportunities being a good guy and a good team man – and supposedly a good player of spin – will buy you.”

After the series against Sri Lanka, England tour the West Indies for a full series in early 2019.