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Hussain delivers verdict on Root’s decision to bat in first Ashes Test

England captain Joe Root won the toss in the first Ashes Test against Australia and decided to bat first

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Where will the Ashes be won and lost?

Former England captain Nasser Hussain infamously chose to bowl after winning the toss in the first Ashes Test at the Gabba in 2002.

Hussain’s decision backfired spectacularly during that Test, with Australia racking up 364-2 on day one going on to win by 384 runs.

After Joe Root won the toss and opted to bat in the first Ashes Test this year, inevitable comparisons were drawn to Hussain’s decision as England got bundled out for just 147.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Hussain called the toss “a good toss to lose” and stated that Root made the “wrong decision”.

“I think the best thing Cummins did was lose the toss because both captains were going to bat,” he said.

England captain Joe Root won the toss in the first Ashes Test against Australia and decided to bat first
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Image:

Matt Roberts – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

“Root did bat and, in the end, it proved a good toss to lose. I thought it was a harder toss for Root than mine in 2002, which was a diabolical decision!

“I think they had had a drought in Brisbane for six months and I suddenly found a bit of moisture in the pitch, had a bowl and Australia were 364-2 at the end of day one!

“It was a green pitch here and it had been raining but while everyone focuses on what the pitch is doing on the first morning, as a captain you have to think what the pitch look like on days three, four and five.

“The humidity, the cracks in the pitch, the fact it tends to get a bit quicker. You have to think ahead.

“Obviously 147 all out tells you it was the wrong decision with the way it seamed around and bounced and sometimes you can confuse it all. I know, I did it.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain
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Image:

Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

“You turn up, look down at a pitch, see it’s green and has rained, so what is your strongest suit?

“Anyone who has watched England over the last three or four years would say bowling is England’s strongest suit. What is Australia’s weaker suit? That is their batting.

“Sometimes just forget the stats, forget everything, look down at what is in front of you and try and try make a decision.”

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