Mark Wood the x-factor on Joe Root’s ‘excellent day’: Nasser Hussain
"I looked down today and I knew who was in charge of that England side." - Nasser Hussain © AFP

Former England captain turned TV pundit Nasser Hussain has hailed Joe Root‘s captaincy on day two of the third Test at St Lucia, which ended with the visitors holding a lead of 142 with ten wickets in hand.

After losing by huge margins at Kensington Oval and North Sound to surrender the three-match series, England have put themselves in a good position to claim the dead rubber Test and Hussain credited Root’s role as key to this. (READ MORE: Mark Wood’s maiden five-wicket-haul deflates West Indies)

Moeen Ali took four wickets and the recalled fast bowler Mark Wood five to bowl out West Indies for 154 on Sunday.

“It’s easy to mention the captain when a side is 150 all out but I looked down today and I knew who was in charge of that England side. It wasn’t Stuart Broad and James Anderson, it was Root,” said Hussain on Sky Sports. “He bowled Ali first when no spinner has got a wicket in the game and it is seaming and going up and down. That was the right decision. To hold Wood back and bowl him at the far end was the right decision. Everything he did, even the reviews, was spot on.

“He will be feeling a little bit bad about his batting but as a skipper you are an all-rounder and the second string to his bow, his captaincy, was very good. He had an excellent day.”

Hussain’s comments harked back to his on-air criticism of Root’s captaincy during the Southampton Test between England and India last September. Watching Broad and Anderson changing the field on day two of that match, while Root was seen gesturing to them to stop as they told the fielder at third man to move fine, Hussain wondered who was in charge of the team.

Root’s batting has been abysmal on tour, with 55 runs in five inning.

Hussain singled out Wood, in his first Test since May 2018, for his pace and bounce. (READ MORE: Wood finally feels “like an England player”)

“It’s not that we haven’t had guys like this – Olly Stone has been around the camp for three or four months and has gone home with a stress fracture,” he said.  “It’s been getting them on the park and keeping them fit. It’s about when we produce them, how do we keep them on the park?

“Wood has been in and out and his pace has dropped off because of his injuries – but when he is like that, he is x-factor. Jofra Archer is coming through and he will be x-factor as well. It just gives Root that x-factor after Broad and Anderson, who test your technique. Then there is Ben Stokes and Ali, who has become a very good offspinner. That is a lot of bases covered.”