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England geared for ODI improvement - Hussain

Sharda Ugra

September 3, 2011

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England celebrate Ajinkya Rahane's wicket, England v India, 1st ODI, Chester-le-Street, September 3, 2011
Nasser Hussain says England are beginning to pick less orthodox players in their ODI team © Getty Images
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England "need to learn to win in one-day cricket," after their elevation to the No. 1 Test ranking, as they have what it takes to emulate the multi-format dominance of West Indies in the 1970-80s and Australia in the 2000s, says Nasser Hussain.

England's up-and-down form in the ODI game, Hussain said in an exclusive interview to ESPNcricinfo, had to do with how they "prioritised Test cricket, a little bit like India have of late, prioritised one-day cricket. They need a good World Cup just so that the kids in England look at it and say, alright we can play one-day cricket.

"I think it's going to be very important, the next World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, for England. It is very difficult [to build dominance] but what this England side have now - what that Australian side had - is strength and depth."

Hussain expected the ODI series between India and England, which began at Durham on Saturday, to be closely contested. "One-day cricket has been a lot more about individual brilliance, a lot more about raw talent. Historically England have produced good, solid technical batsmen but you wouldn't say they have produced massive hitters of the ball, or people who can be innovative with the bat, or have weird actions with the ball, spin it both ways or reverse swing it. We've been a little bit too English, if you like, a little bit too orthodox. I think what wins you one-day games is a little bit of unorthodox and some individual brilliance. We've always lacked that."

England's ODI side was remodelled after the 2011 World Cup and is now led by Alastair Cook who began his full-time role with a 3-2 series win against Sri Lanka. Hussain said flair players were now coming through more frequently. "We're starting to produce those cricketers, albeit with a bit of foreign imports, a few South African imports, but it's still an English side. Guys like Eoin Morgan, an Irish import or whatever you want to call it. Like [Jade] Dernbach, he's got unusual variations with the slower ball and he's unorthodox - so its starting to go a down that road now."

Because of the strength and depth in the squad, and the manner in which they are handled, Hussain believes England can have sustained success across formats. "They are all of the right age and are well looked after. The challenge is not to do what they did in 2005, when they got giddy and thought they've climbed their Everest and that's it, we've done it. I don't think this lot will do it."

England's next target, Hussain said, was coming up in the subcontinent winter, when they will play ODIs in India, a Test series against Pakistan in the UAE and a Test series in Sri Lanka. "Going there and winning is the next thing," said Hussain, who captained England to victory in both Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 2000-01. "England have got a lot of tours coming up in the subcontinent in both forms of the game. In Test cricket, it's a completely different brand of cricket. Look at Jimmy [Anderson] bowling in the World Cup, and Jimmy bowling here now. Their biggest challenge is going to be finding that second spinner, whether it's going to be Monty [Panesar] or Samit Patel or someone like that, [and finding] reverse swing bowlers."

Away from the subcontinent, Hussain said South Africa were England's biggest challenger for the No.1 spot in Tests. "South Africa are a threat, they rely heavily on [Morne] Morkel and [Dale] Steyn. Imran Tahir is a very useful addition to them. They are a good side but I still fancy England. If you had all of the Pakistan team available and all fit, and none of the politics, and none of the going around in circles with captains and all that, with their bowling attack, they would be a threat to world cricket but unfortunately that's not the case."

The full interview with Nasser Hussain will appear on ESPNcricinfo next week.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by justk on (September 5, 2011, 13:17 GMT)

@cricket2010: only a hyped up team is south africa, their last test series win at their home was against bangladesh..and they have only pace bowler..depends how long steyn would carry his form that too..they dont have a spinner in their ranks..tahir will be blasted in india especially..and then, there is that choking part which will not remove now

Posted by justk on (September 5, 2011, 13:14 GMT)

@vismorkel: i agree with you..one series win after 15 years of test cricket..and now, these english fans, as if their imperial days are coming back, are saying that they will beat india in one day cricket, in which indian team is far more superior..and now for the records, the last match which england had beaten india in a one day game was 2007 lord's natwest series. 4-3..and the over all record since 2006 is 15-4 and a tie in the world cup, that too with andrew strauss being twice out and ian bell not being given out because they have to defend english side also..ha ha ha ha..and england cannot simply play one day cricket, just as sehwag is also a mediocre in one day cricket..the reason is simple, in test cricket, all fielders are more closed in..hence more gaps available..but in one day cricket, all fielders are standing deep, hence need to pick the gap..this is the reason..only eoin morgan will play something because of his unorthodox method..or else. it would be a cakewalk for ind

Posted by Cricketer2010 on (September 5, 2011, 11:21 GMT)

I guess this is the time of South Africa......they have the bowlers who can click in the subcontinent..........England need to beat South Africa, India in india and Sri Lanks in Sri Lanka and that would not be easy

Dominance in all formats is out of question

Posted by rhtdm302 on (September 5, 2011, 11:08 GMT)

7 out of the 11 who were part of the World cup winning team are not playing, But i am sure the English won't mind that, They will be happy to beat a second rate team any day. In Fact they should be expected to win this one day series, if they cant do that, That will be a shame.

Posted by annys on (September 5, 2011, 9:18 GMT)

we will know how good England is after the odi series in India. India cricket administration is poor but the players are world class no doubt. Anderson, swann, broad,Dernbach in India will be fun to watch against sehwag,gambhir sachin,yuvi,dhoni,raina :)))))))))))

Posted by vismorkel on (September 5, 2011, 8:29 GMT)

India played badly,absolutely no doubt about it.But the way British fans are talking is as if India were never good & what they have achieved till now was by mere luck.The British commentators & fans should realise that this was the first time in 15 years England has defeated India in a test series & it was only a few months back they lost a world cup quarter final by ten wickets.When England were losing test series in Australia against a champion Aussie side 5-0,India were still competitive against Australia.Infact they were the only team who challenged Australia at their prime.But this type of behaviour was always expected from guys who have been the butt of jokes of this cricketing world for nearly 2 decades now.Winning is like a breath of fresh air for these British fans who have always seen their team getting humiliated for a long time now.Can someone tell me how many test series victories has Micheal Vaughan been a part of against India??Nasser still has nightmares of Durban 03??

Posted by   on (September 5, 2011, 8:06 GMT)

It Seems that the current England Team is not actually an England team at all. With more the 50 % of the Players are imported from other countries what are these English boasting about?

Posted by Meety on (September 5, 2011, 4:46 GMT)

Yeah, I can handle comments like "Poms #1 in Tests" - (fair enough & true), "Form side in Tests" - (true too!). But now talking about being comparable to West Indian & Oz dominance in all formats is completely jumping the gun! The Windies in the mid 70s to early 80s made it to the final in 3 straight World Cups. Oz competed in 4 straight finals. That is 8 & 12 year periods of dominance. England were at times woeful in ODIs in the last 12mths. There is no evidence to suggest that they will do well at all in ODIs. IMO- Cook will be a VERY good captain for England, (on the flip side I think that this will be detrimental to Test form), however, the balance of the England side is no where near settled. They still don't know where to use Bell or KP in the batting line up. Gun test bowlers like Anderson have shown a distinct inability to replicate Test form in the short formats. Poms have a good 12mths of wins in front of them before they can come close to Hussains ponderings!!!!

Posted by zico123 on (September 4, 2011, 18:18 GMT)

England can be best Test team currently, but they will never dominate the world in ODIs, and let them visit subcontinent they will lose their test no. 1 ranking as well. England's stay at top will be shorter than that of India.

Posted by Bhrams on (September 4, 2011, 17:11 GMT)

To all my fellow Indian fans (the ones who are being abrasive, that is), get some perspective. I do agree Vaughan has been over the top of late. But Hussain and most of the current English players and staff have been very balanced when it comes to what they have said in the press. Inspite of thrashing India in the Test series, they have retained respect for the opposition and to an extent, have even exhibited empathy for India. So don't go overboard with the whole 'let-us-see-when-they-come-to-India' philospohy. Fact is the Indian team and establishment have a lot to do going forward and this is a moment for self-reflection and not mocking other teams' vision and execution. It has become an embarrasment in the recent past to go to the comments section of any cricketing page!

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