Former captain Nasser Hussain explains how England can put their Lord’s horror show behind them and win the third Ashes Test
After a strong start in Cardiff, what went so wrong for England at Lord’s?
Australia are a very good side – they were always going to come back. It was never going to be a one-sided series. Although no one expected Australia to win by 405 runs, the pitch at Lord’s suited them. It was very flat, and it lacked the sideways movement that favours England and the likes of Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson. This played into the hands of the Aussie batsmen who are amazing players when the ball’s not moving around.
There was also England’s miserable batting performance. Are you worried about the team’s top order?
I am. England can’t continue to go 30-4 and expect to win Test matches. It’s not just a one-off, it’s been a number of times now. The batsmen have to take a long, hard look at themselves. Jonny Bairstow’s been getting heaps of runs for Yorkshire, he’s been brought in, which might spark it up a little.
With the series level, how crucial is the third Test at Edgbaston?
Australia hold the Ashes, so England need to win the series to regain them. If Australia win at Edgbaston they’re 2-1 up – England would need to win the last two Tests, and the fifth Test is at The Oval which can be flat. I thought before the series it’d be very tight – I’ve not changed that opinion.
What will make the difference?
The Edgbaston pitch turns a bit more, so that suits England. The crowd gets behind them there. A fast start is absolutely vital, that’s where momentum is lost and gained. England need their senior players to turn it round for them now. That’s what Australia did in the last Test. England need performances from Alastair Cook and Ian Bell with the bat, and Broad and Anderson with the ball.
Nasser Hussain is working for Sky Sports, which is showing every ball of the Ashes live this summer
(Images: Sky Press/PA/Rex)