Ashes 2023: Nasser Hussain wishes to see ‘ultra aggression’ from England on day three as scare of wet weather looms

Former England captain Nasser Hussain has urged the Ben Stokes-led side to be “ultra-aggressive” on Day Three of the fourth Ashes Test in Manchester, especially with heavy rain predicted for days four and five.

Nasser Hussain, a former England captain, has advised Ben Stokes’ team to play “ultra-aggressively” on Day Three of the fourth Ashes Test in Manchester, especially given the likelihood of significant rainfall on Days Four and Five.

Opener Zak Crawley slammed a magnificent 189 off 182 deliveries and propelled England to take a lead of 67 runs after ending day two of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford on 384-4. Moeen Ali and Joe Root also supported him with their respective half-centuries.

Crawley led England’s batting charge from the front, hitting 12 fours and a maximum to hit a sensational maiden Ashes century in just 93 balls, as Australia were left rattled by the opener’s blazing knock.

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“I think they’ve (England) got to go really ultra-aggressive. Either way — if they get bowled out, the game has progressed. You don’t want to be left on Sunday night thinking: ‘I wish we’d just given ourselves another half hour’.”

“And if they don’t get bowled out, you can imagine them going at seven or eight runs an over, and then their lead will be massive, which will by them time for the weather. The forecast is poor. Everyone is going to say: ‘Why do you keep going on about the forecast?’ But it is poor. Really bad for Saturday, not great for Sunday.”

“If you’ve got a ticket for (Friday) morning, get there for 11 am, because Stokes, Brook, Bairstow, Woakes, Wood, go and have some fun, get the lead up to 200, and then get on with bowling. You need 20 wickets, get on with bowling,” Hussain was quoted as saying by Sky Sports Cricket.

Michael Atherton, Hussain’s former England team-mate, also said in the same vein.

“First of all (if I’m England), I’m getting the best possible, up-to-date forecast Friday morning. Come to the ground Friday, and try and find out what the most accurate forecast is. It seems clear we’re probably going to lose most of Saturday,” he said.

“But we might get most of Friday and most of Sunday, in which case you play as they’re playing now. Putting their foot down and trying to build that lead until maybe lunchtime, and then you’ve got to get Australia in because you need those 10 wickets. And you’re not worried so much about batting last and chasing, because they don’t have a specialist spinner and it looks a very good pitch.”

Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara feels the outcome of the match is heavily dependent on the weather.

“Once you’re close to that 200 mark in terms of a lead, then you’ve got to make a decision. You get Australia in, but it all depends on the weather. If Saturday gets rained out, if Friday is rain-marred, and Sunday becomes the day, then by lunch Australia have to go back in (on Friday).”

-IANS

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