England looked like startled rabbits in second innings: Hussain

London, Feb 26 (PTI): England have lost their batting rhythm after playing on two difficult surfaces and looked like “startled rabbits” in the second innings of the third Test against India, according to former skipper Nasser Hussain.
Hussain said it’s all about mentality now and the tourists need to find a way to draw the series, which will be a good result for them.
England on Thursday suffered a 10-wicket defeat in the third Test against India inside two days to hand India an unassailable 2-1 lead. Joe Root and his men struggled on the spin-friendly Motera pitch, managing 112 and 81 in their two innings respectively.
“Especially on this pitch, where one spins prodigiously and the other skids on, you lose all kind of rhythm. That’s what successive Test matches on these sorts of pitches do for your mindset,” Hussain said on ‘Sky Sports Cricket Podcast’. “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.” Left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who was the destructor-in-chief, relentlessly hit the good length areas to bamboozle the England batsmen and grab a match-haul of 11 for 70.
“Axar is very accurate. He bowls stump to stump and some balls turn and some don’t. Most of his wickets came from balls that didn’t turn, so people will look at that and say ‘why not play for those straight deliveries?’ but it’s the ball before.
“You could also argue that it was that pitch before in Chennai when everything spun big but it was the also the ball that spun big on Zak Crawley on day one here. Every England batsman thought ‘I have to go for the spin’ but most got done with the one that didn’t spin,” Hussain added.
The 52-year-old, who represented England in 96 Tests, feels England need to get a good score in the first innings to have a chance at winning the next Test.
“It is all about the mentality of that side now and to be fair to them a lot of the chat about the pitches and umpires has come from outside the dressing room. I have not heard a single England player say these conditions are unfair,” said Hussain.

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