Cricket: Hussain's plan to end the pain

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The Independent Online
NASSER HUSSAIN had reason enough to be unhappy even before watching his England side slump to a humiliating defeat - only their fifth in 80 Tests home and away to New Zealand - inside four days.

He has a broken finger which leaves him only a 50-50 chance of being fit for the third Test at Old Trafford which starts on 5 August. He also has some severely bruised pride after his second Test as captain ended with a nine-wicket defeat. But he has let his team know precisely what he thinks of their performance.

What he thinks will give them plenty to chew on over the next 10 days. "I am very disappointed, I'd be lying if I said everything went to plan and that it has been a great week at the office. We didn't play particularly well and New Zealand played better. But I said when I got the job that there was a lot of hard work to be done and two games later nothing has changed.

"The main reason for our defeat was our batting, 180 all out in the first innings is not good enough. In the second innings we also lost wickets.

"I can talk to the players all I like, but in the end it all comes down to individual responsibilities.

"I will not stick a dagger in them. I know they are good players. They have done it in the past. But we must keep working at our batting, on our technique and make sure that as good players, which we are, we produce big scores.

"However having said that I am very proud of my bowlers, in both games, for the way they have kept coming in. But there is work still to be done there as well."

He certainly expects a lengthy selection meeting next weekend when the 13 or 14-man squad for Old Trafford is decided upon. "Even if I am not fit I will be heavily involved in selection," he promised. "It will certainly be longer than the last one. We will go through each individual in the side and discuss whether bringing in someone else will help to make us stronger."

He is certainly not afraid to face the issues and indeed there is a steely side to the England and Essex captain. His reaction to the Alex Tudor affair exemplified that. "That is an area that has to be looked at. I was not overly impressed at being rung up at eight o'clock on Wednesday evening to be told that one of my strike bowlers had just been ruled out.

"I am sure there was a very good reason behind it, maybe Surrey wanted Tudor to have some peace of mind, but I hope it does not happen again. We have to get players under one contract and one contract only."

He did manage to extract some humour from a miserable week when he explained that a decision on his fitness would be left as late as possible to allow his fractured finger more time to heal. "Probably," he quipped "after a midnight scan on Wednesday."

Hussain is not going to let the defeat get him down. "It may sound funny," he said. "But I don't think a loss at this stage of my captaincy will do any harm at all. All it shows is that we have a lot of work to do."

But this is a hard man, who takes defeat even harder. He said when he woke up at four o'clock yesterday morning with the pain of his broken finger and added: "I don't want to sound like a wimp but it was very painful."

It is nothing to the pain he will be feeling over this Lord's loss.

ENGLAND'S WOE

England continue a miserable sequence at Lord's in the last 10 years

Jun 89: Australia won by 6 wkts

Jun 90: New Zealand drew with England

Jul 90: England bt India by 247 runs

Jun 91: West Indies drew with England

Aug 91: England bt Sri Lanka by 137 runs

Jun 92: Pakistan won by two wkts

Jun '93: Australia won by 62 runs

Jun '94: New Zealand drew with England

July 94: South Africa won by 356 runs

June 95: England bt West Indies by 72 runs

June 96: India drew with England

July 96: Pakistan won by 164 runs

June 97: Australia drew with England

June 98: South Africa won by 10 wkts

July 99: New Zealand won by nine wkts.

Total record: P15, W3, D5, L7.

LORD'S SCOREBOARD

England won toss

ENGLAND - First innings 186 (N Hussain 61, A J Stewart 50).

NEW ZEALAND - First innings

(Friday: 242 for 6)

D L Vettori c Thorpe b Tufnell 54

137 min, 106 balls, 7 fours

A C Parore b Caddick 12

39 min, 27 balls, 1 four

C L Cairns b Caddick 31

73 min, 42 balls, 5 fours

D J Nash c Mullally b Tufnell 6

33 min, 23 balls

G I Allott not out 1

15 min, 10 balls

Extras (b1, lb24, w2, nb13) 40

Total (521 min, 119.1 overs) 358

Fall (cont): 7-275 (Parore), 8-345 (Cairns), 9-351 (Vettori).

Bowling: Mullally 27-7-98-2 (w2) (10-4-36-1, 4-1-10-1, 5-1-12-0, 8-1- 40-0); Caddick 34-11-92-3 (nb2) (5-1-11-0, 7-4-12-0, 5-0-29-0, 3-1-7-0, 8-4-25-2, 6-1-8-1); Headley 27-7-74-3 (nb8) (8-1-33-1, 9-4-10-0, 8-2-18- 2, 2-0-13-0); Tufnell 27.1-7-61-2 (nb3) (4-1-10-0, 10-2-32-0, 4-0-6-0, 9.1-4-13-2); Butcher 3-0-7-0; Ramprakash 1-0-1-0 (one spell each).

Progress: Third day: 250: 385 min, 88.1 overs. 300: 443 min, 99.2 overs. 350: 496 min, 112.5 overs. Lunch: 350 for 8 (Vettori 53, Nash 1) 113 overs. Innings closed: 2.03.

Vettori 50: 124 min, 94 balls, 7 fours.

ENGLAND - Second innings

M A Butcher c Astle b Vettori 20

85 min, 76 balls, 4 fours

A J Stewart b Vettori 35

139 min, 97 balls, 5 fours

M R Ramprakash c Parore b Astle 24

106 min, 76 balls, 4 fours

G P Thorpe b Cairns 7

5 min, 5 balls, 1 four

A Habib c Astle b Allott 19

127 min, 104 balls, 3 fours

D W Headley c Fleming b Allott 12

68 min, 53 balls, 2 fours

C M W Read lbw b Nash 37

123 min, 84 balls, 4 fours

A R Caddick c Fleming b Allott 45

149 min, 96 balls, 6 fours

A D Mullally c Twose b Cairns 10

15 min, 13 balls, 2 fours

P C R Tufnell not out 5

23 min, 13 balls

*N Hussain absent hurt 0

Extras (b5, lb3, nb7) 15

Total (424 min, 101.4 overs) 229

Fall: 1-55 (Butcher), 2-71 (Stewart), 3-78 (Thorpe), 4-97 (Ramprakash), 5-123 (Headley), 6-127 (Habib), 7-205 (Read), 8-216 (Mullally).

Bowling: Allott 16.4-6-36-3 (nb3) (7-3-14-0, 6-3-10-2, 3-0-12-0, 0.4- 0-0-1); Cairns 25-6-67-2 (nb1) (4-0-18-0, 6-2-10-1, 2-1-1-0, 3-1-2-0, 10-2-36-1); Vettori 31-12-62-2 (19-8-43-2, 2-1-2-0, 10-3-17-0); Nash 25- 9-50-1 (nb3) (8-4-9-0, 4-2-5-0, 5-2-10-0, 3-0-16-0, 5-1-10-1); Astle 4- 2-6-1 (2-1-2-1, 2-1-4-0).

Progress: Third day: 50: 71 min, 17.3 overs. Tea: 55 for 1 (Stewart 32) 21.3 overs. 100: 195 min, 48.1 overs. Close: 107 for 4 (Habib 11, Headley 2) 54 overs. Fourth day: 150: 314 min, 80 overs. New ball: Taken after 80 overs at 150 for 6. Lunch: 175-6 (Read 24, Caddick 24) 85 overs. 200: 375 min, 92.1 overs. Innings closed: 3.04.

NEW ZEALAND - Second innings

M J Horne lbw b Caddick 26

55 min, 43 balls, 2 fours

M D Bell not out 26

89 min, 72 balls, 1 four

*S P Fleming not out 5

33 min, 24 balls

Extras (b2, nb1) 3

Total (for 1, 89 min, 23 overs) 60

Fall: 1-37 (Horne).

Did not bat: C D McMillan, N J Astle, R G Twose, A C Parore, C L Cairns, D J Nash, D L Vettori, G I Allott.

Bowling: Mullally 5-0-21-0 (one spell); Caddick 10-4-18-1 (3-2-1-0, 7- 2-17-1); Tufnell 8-2-19-0 (nb1) (one spell).

Progress: Fourth day: Tea: 15 for 0 (Horne 11, Bell 4) 6 overs. 50: 83 min, 21.2 overs.

Umpires: M J Kitchen (Eng) and R E Koertzen (SA).

NEW ZEALAND WON BY 9 WICKETS.

Compiled by Jo King

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