Nasser Hussain says England’s bowling with the new ball in their crunch T20I against New Zealand was “diabolical”.
Having posted 194-7, net run-rate meant England needed to beat New Zealand by at least 20 runs to qualify for the T20 Tri-Series final but their chances of doing so were severely damaged as Colin Munro smashed an 18-ball fifty to take the Black Caps to 77-0 at the end of the powerplay.
The left-hander hit seven sixes and although England recovered to record a two-run victory, New Zealand progressed and Hussain was distinctly unimpressed by the tactics employed by Eoin Morgan’s side with the new ball.
“Some good things came out of it for England today,” he told Sky Sports Cricket. “They won the game, Morgan got some runs again, he needed some runs, (Chris) Jordan and (Tom) Curran in those last two overs, (Dawid) Malan now has four fifties in five T20 international games – that’s remarkable, what a winter he has had.
“The bad thing for me is that the bowling with the new ball was diabolical. It was terrible. I sat and watched Munro against Pakistan when I was at home because I hadn’t seen a lot of him and I noted within two minutes ‘do not bowl on his legs, he will slog sweep you for six over square leg’ and they ran up and bowled length at leg stump.
The best of the action from the Trans-Tasman tri-series T20 between New Zealand and England from Seddon Park
“I don’t know if it was a lack of planning because the first thing you would say to any bowler would be ‘do not bowl on Munro’s pads’. However good he is, and credit to him, he hit it out of the ground, do not bowl there.
“I guess there are not many batsmen you bowl length balls on leg stump! The coach [Trevor Bayliss] wasn’t overly amused by the way they bowled.”
While New Zealand can look forward to Wednesday’s final against Australia at Eden Park, England have a week to prepare for the first one-day international, back in Hamilton, with Ben Stokes back in contention.
England head coach Trevor Bayliss feels like T20 Internationals shouldn't be played outside of the World Cup competition
Trevor Bayliss was coy on whether the all-rounder would be brought straight back into the side but Hussain was in no doubt that Stokes should play.
“You need to look after the lad, Trevor (Bayliss) is right, he’s played a lot of indoor cricket, he played out here for Canterbury so he has played outdoors,” he added.
“I can’t see the point of going through all the hassle and all the criticism of getting him out here when some have felt, ‘no, don’t!’ and then asking him to carry the drinks.
New Zealand vs England
February 25, 2018, 12:30am
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“He’s too good a player to be carrying the drinks, if he’s out here and he’s fit, he should play. Ben Stokes gets into any of your sides as long as he is there and available.”