Former England skipper Nasser Hussain has urged the Joe Root-led side to pick his best team and not to take the Indian team lightly in the upcoming four-match Test series.
India would be entering the Test series riding high on confidence following their remarkable win in the Border-Gavaskar series against Australia. The victory was special in the sense as India was bowled out for a mere 36 — their lowest Test total — in the first Test and then lost many star players due to injury. Skipper Virat Kohli had also returned home after the culmination of the first Test to welcome his baby. However, the Ajinkya Rahane-led side showed tremendous grit and resilience in the remaining three matches and registered a memorable series win.
“Any side that can go to Australia, go 1-0 down after being bowled out for 36, lose Kohli because he’s going home on paternity leave, lose your bowling attack and still come back and win after some of the stuff that went on off the field in Australia, they won’t be bullied,” Hussain was quoted as saying as per Sky Sports.
“They are a tough side. I think Kohli has instilled that. Make no mistake, at home, they are a formidable outfit,” he added.
The former England skipper further said England should go in with their best playing XI in the first Test beginning February 5 in Chennai.
“Maybe it is because I was brought up in India and I’ve always seen India vs England as one of the great series – all I would have asked is turn up to Chennai with your best 13 to 15 players,” said Hussain.
The 52-year-old urged England to play both veteran pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad against India.
“I think England fans have earned the right for their best team to be there that first day. If it means Broad and Anderson playing together because it’s a bit green, worry about the Ashes down the line,” said Hussain.
“Worry about New Zealand down the line, pick your best team for what is going to be a fabulous series, and then rotate from there,” he added.
Hussain had earlier criticised the England selectors for resting wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow for the first two Tests.
Bairstow, Mark Wood, and Sam Curran have been rested for the first two Tests against India, while Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Rory Burns — who are not part of the Sri Lanka series — have been recalled.
England would also be brimming with confidence as they whitewashed Sri Lanka in the two-Test series which concluded on Monday.