Graveney shrugs off Hussain's latest flop

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The Independent Online

England's chairman of selectors David Graveney is backing the captain Nasser Hussain to come through his current run drought, after he continued to disappoint with Essex at Kidderminster yesterday.

England's chairman of selectors David Graveney is backing the captain Nasser Hussain to come through his current run drought, after he continued to disappoint with Essex at Kidderminster yesterday.

Hussain managed to add just a single to his overnight score of nine before pushing forward to Worcestershire's Kabir Ali and being caught behind. It means that Hussain has scored only 144 runs in first-class cricket this summer in 12 completed innings - 74 for Essex and 70 for his country.

To make matters worse it was a run-filled day for Essex, who finished the day on 461 for 9, with the Australian Stuart Law cashing in with 189.

Graveney, who arrived in mid-afternoon long after Hussain's dismissal to discuss selection matters with him for the Headingley Test, is not unduly worried about his captain's lack of runs.

"Nasser would like to get runs but I am no more or less concerned about his form than he is," Graveney said. "He said he is not in the best of form and I hope he gets a second opportunity at Kidderminster on a good wicket, but it is not a huge issue for me. It only becomes an issue for the critics."

Russell Warren and Tony Penberthy put together an unbroken 188 fifth-wicket stand, a record for Northamptonshire, as the Second Division leaders reached 327 for 4 against Sussex at Northampton. Warren was 113 not out while Penberthy finished on 92.

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