Former England skipper Nasser Hussain said the hosts should have gone for a win rather than playing sluggish cricket on the final day of the first Test against New Zealand. England needed 273 runs to win the game in the final two sessions after New Zealand declared their innings at 169/6. Root and Dominic Sibley helped England walk away with a draw at the Lord’s Cricket Ground on Sunday. Sibley scored 60 runs off 207 balls, equalling the seventh slowest fifty by an England opener after the year 2000.
“There only seemed to be one side that were keen to win it and that’s why Kane Williamson stayed on, even at the end,” Sky Sports quoted Hussain as saying.
“He could have shaken hands at 15 overs to go but he didn’t because he was the one playing the positive cricket.
“I understand why England didn’t go for it — you have to put it into context. They lost their last three Test matches, there’s no Jos Buttler, no Ben Stokes,” he added.
Hussain said England lacked “intent” to go for a win and attributed the hosts’ slow approach to recent games in which the Root-led side had found themselves gasping for breath.
“They find themselves 20-3 far too often in Test cricket, so you do have to look at the bigger picture of where this England team are and where they’re trying to get to,” Sky Sports quoted Hussain as saying.
“But I think at least try to go at it hard, show some intent and if you get four or five down, then you can block, then you can say ‘no, we’re not going any further'” he added.
“They got criticised a lot for playing aggressive cricket, now they play defensive cricket — it doesn’t have to be one or the other,” said Hussain.
“In 70-odd overs, you can go the other way and then if you get in a bit of trouble you can drag it back in,” he added.
England and New Zealand will next play in the second Test from Thursday.
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