Hussain questions 'reactionary' Cook

England

Former captain Nasser Hussain questioned the performance of England's bowlers, despite a relatively successful performance on day one of the second Test against India at Lord's on Thursday.

Former captain Nasser Hussain questioned the performance of England's bowlers, despite a relatively successful performance on day one of the second Test against India at Lord's on Thursday.

Host captain Alastair Cook's decision to bowl first on a pitch lined with a substantial amount of grass saw the Indians reduced to 290 for nine. The tourists had, however, earlier slipped to 145 for seven.

Seamer James Anderson was the pick of the attack en route to a telling four-wicket haul, while batsman Ajinkya Rahane defied with a steely century in challenging conditions.

"England were given the pitch they wanted and had everything in their favour at the start of this second Test, so their failure to make an impact in the first and last sessions were missed opportunities, however well they hit back between lunch and tea," Hussain wrote in the <i>Daily Mail</i>.

"This was one of the best day one pitches I have seen for bowling in England for a very long time and taking only two wickets before lunch may prove costly, with India still very much in the game.

"England certainly bowled too short and too wide before lunch and didn't use the crease well at all. Also, Cook's captaincy was reactionary when this was simply a day to go all out on the attack with four slips and a short leg.

"There was no need for any funky fields but there was a bit too much ball-following from the England captain, while his two senior bowlers, Anderson and Stuart Broad, did not help by not hitting their straps."

Seamer Liam Plunkett was arguably the weakest of the lot. He sported plenty of promise after removing the in-form Murali Vijay in the first session, but a relatively thoughtless approach from around the wicket later took precedent.

"Plunkett had a much more disappointing day and perhaps he was feeling the effects of back-to-back Tests. Certainly this was not the pitch for the sort of bang-it-in-short-from-round-the-wicket tactics we saw after tea," concluded Hussain.

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