Former England men’s captain Nasser Hussain has warned his country’s women’s team that there is no room for any more slip-ups when they take on India in an ICC Women’s World Cup match at the Bay Oval here on Wednesday.
England are winless in the mega-event having lost all three games, with the latest being a three-wicket defeat to South Africa at the same venue on Monday. Hussain was critical of England’s tactic, flaying them for the dropped catches, and saying that they looked like a bunch of nervous cricketers on the field.
It could well turn out to be a grudge match for the Mithali Raj-led India, who would be itching for revenge after the Heather Knight-led England had beaten them in the 2017 edition of the World Cup final at Lord’s.
While India are on a high after thrashing the West Indies in their previous game and having scored the highest score of 317 in this edition of the tournament so far, England are just one spot above Pakistan, at seventh, on the points table and a defeat to India on Wednesday would almost certainly seal their premature exit.
“Played three and lost three, all close games, they’ve got a lot of work to do,” Hussain said on on ICC’s Digital Daily. “They can have no complaints, they’re not playing their best cricket. England have got India next and that game for both sides is massive. There are so many good teams in the tournament, but that’s a massive game on Wednesday.
“India are playing well, batters Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana were phenomenal the other day, so there are no easy games,” said Hussain. Both Harmanpreet and Mandhana scored centuries as India looked unbeatable against the West Indies in their previous game.
On the other hand, England didn’t help themselves in the match against the Proteas, with a number of catches going down in a haphazard fielding display.
“Fielding has been poor again. (SA batter) Laura Wolvaardt is a world-class player; you can’t give her one chance let alone two or three. I’ve seen them (England) in practice the last couple of days, they’ve hit practice hard. But it is, for want of a better word, like a virus. They (England) drop a catch early, it spreads through the team, they are nervy; they look nervy in the field,” added Hussain.
“I think they bowled too short too. If you look at all the best sides in the competition they’ve bowled a fuller length. Look at (SA bowler Marizanne) Kapp, she bowled full with the new ball and full at the death. England were too short,” averred Hussain.
The top four teams at the conclusion of the Group Stage will qualify for the semifinals, with each team playing seven matches. And with England still having eight points up for grabs, there is still a chance for them to sneak into the knockout stages.