Nasser Hussain has stated that England’s middle-order needs to be looked at after the left-handed packed side succumbed to Shardul Thakur’s off-cutters to concede the fourth T20I to India. He further added that when Chris Jordan and Jofra Archer came out to bat, it disturbed Thakur’s plans.
England were walking away with the win till the 15th over of the run-chase with Ben Stokes batting on 46 off 22 balls, but Shardul Thakur had different plans up his sleeves. He mixed his slower balls with knuckleball to create confusion in Stokes’ mind as the left-hander succumbed to the plan. Eoin Morgan also failed to take him on, as India suddenly found themselves at the top of the game and eventually closed an eight-run win.
Former English skipper Nasser Hussain feels that it was a problem with England as their left-handed-laden middle-order creates a match-up disadvantage which was evident yesterday. Hussain stated that it needs to be chalked out before it becomes a big problem later on.
“That middle-order needs looking at. Three left-handers going in one after the other, up against a bowler [Thakur], who finds bowling off-cutters to left-handers very easy,” Hussain told Sky Sports after the game.
“[Dawid] Malan at the top, using up deliveries, left the left-handers in the middle order with a lot to do against a good death bowler. When the two right-handed lower-order batsmen, [Jofra] Archer and [Chris] Jordan got in, Thakur couldn’t go to his off-cutter, he had to try something different and that threw him a little bit.
“It’s incredible how the game has changed; that’s why they talk about these ‘match-ups’, as the moment the ball is coming into the arc, you get belted out of the ground – whether it is spin or seam. England’s three left-handers, coming in one after the other, just gave the momentum to India.”
England have the option of drafting in Liam Livingstone or Sam Billings to the middle-order or reshuffling the batting order to ensure the batting order is not cluttered with similar kind of batsmen.