India need an all-rounder in mould of Ben Stokes, Cameron Green to excel in overseas Tests: Nasser Hussain
Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes that for India to be a more successful Test side in foreign conditions, they need an all-rounder, somebody like England's Ben Stokes or Australia's Cameron Green, who can bat at six or seven and also provide India with 10-15 overs of genuine wicket-taking seam and swing for a better team balance.
While India reached the final of the ICC World Test Championship after some tremendous success at home, Hussain is concerned about their form outside from the subcontinent.
India recently overcame the West Indies 1-0 in the Caribbean and played some brilliant cricket in Bangladesh at the end of last year to move closer to a World Test Championship Final appearance, but results away from home have been mixed for Rohit Sharma's team.
In a recent episode of The ICC Review, Hussain reviewed the composition of India's Test team with host Sanjana Ganesan.
"At home, they are brilliant…and the balance of their side is just wonderful." "They have senior players like Rohit and obviously Virat (Kohli) who are just world-class players, and they have youngsters coming in, like Shubman (Gill), who is going to be a superstar," Hussain was cited as saying by the ICC.
"If Jasprit (Bumrah) can return, he'll be one of the best multi-format bowlers in the world right now, if not the best." So they have those veteran players and kids, and with the ball in India, they have those three all-rounders - Axar (Patel), (Ravindra) Jadeja, and (Ravichandran) Ashwin - who are true all-rounders in India. That is a great balanced aspect for me because then you have a number 7," he remarked.
However, Hussain is concerned about India's squad balance away from home, which was obvious when they were upset by Australia in the second round of the World Test Championship Final in June.
Hussain understands that if wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant returns to full fitness, India's middle order would be improved, but the pundit is concerned about the lack of a seam bowler who can also bat.
"During the Ashes, I was travelling with Ricky (Ponting) a lot, and he was texting Rishabh, and Rishabh was in the gym, and he was getting updates." He's a huge loss right now, but maybe he'll return," he remarked.
"It's away from home, the balance of the side, and whether or not they can get a seam bowling all-rounder." If Hardik (Pandya) had kept healthy and followed that process, he would have been wonderful."
"An Indian cricketer at the moment, a (Ben) Stokes-type cricketer, a Cameron Green-type cricketer, a Mitchell Marsh-type cricketer, a batter at No.6 or No.7 away from home, that can bowl you 10 or 15 overs of genuine wicket-taking seam and swing, not a bowler who bats a bit, a batter who can give you 10 overs of seam bowling, and then that balance away from home makes them formidable,"
And, while Hussain is concerned about India's middle order, he is not concerned about their top order, believing that youthful opener Yashasvi Jaiswal is well positioned to improve on his strong start to his Test career against the West Indies.
"From what I've seen, he's off to a great start." You ask those who have watched him in the IPL, and they all say, yep, this boy can play."
"He appears to have the technique as well as the mindset."
"Most young Indian players, particularly batters, come in and have immediate success." And the fact that they are being created, rather than simply the IPL, is a good omen for first-class cricket."
"I have seen so many young Indian batters come in and I look at them and think, technically, they look very gifted because they have been brought up on watching Rohit or watching Virat or watching before that, you know, Virat's watched Sachin (Tendulkar) and Sachin's watched Sunil (Gavaskar)," he concluded. (Crichistory.in)