Hussain fears for England's "startled rabbits"

26 February 2021 22:38:05 GMTPlus10

Nasser Hussain described England as being like "startled rabbits" in their ten-wicket defeat to India in the third Test and believes they have to hit the ground running with the bat in the final match of the series.

England stunned India in the first Test of the four-match series between the sides, winning by 227 runs at the start of the month, before the hosts hit back in the second encounter to win by 317 runs and level the series.

And it was India who impressed in the third Test at the Sardar Patel Stadium, bowling England out for only 112 in their first innings with India spinner Axar Patel taking 6-38.

India themselves only reached 145 runs but became even more devastating with the ball when reducing England to 81 all out with the tourists' top three of Zak Crawley, Dom Sibley and Jonny Bairstow posting a combined seven runs in the second innings.

Patel was once again the star of the show as he completed a ten-wicket haul with figures of 5-32 in the second innings, ably supported by Ravi Ashwin, who took 4-48 to go with first innings figures of 3-26.

India reached the required target of 49 without loss, wrapping up a ten-wicket win after only two days of play and Hussain believes England "have to get a score in the first innings" of the final Test if they are to finish the series 2-2.

Speaking on the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast, former Three Lions captain Hussain said: "England looked like startled rabbits in that second innings. I don't think it was an 81 all out pitch but this was a much tougher pitch than Chennai - the sort of pitch I hated.

"The carrot is there, 2-2 with India will not be a bad result at all - although I know that is a long way away when England haven't reached 200 in five innings.

"They have to get a score in the first innings."

England are 3.75 to win the fourth and final Test and level the series, while India are 1.53 to record their third win on the bounce with the draw 7.50.

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