Former captain Nasser Hussain wants England to stay grounded

Sep 07, 2011, 09:50 IST | A Correspondent

Former captain Nasser Hussain wants England to stay grounded after whitewashing India 4-0 in the recently concluded Test series

Don't get giddy. Don't let the World No 1 tag go to their head and don't lose their focus. That's what former captain Nasser Hussain wants to see from the England cricket team after their stupendous success against India.

Nasser Hussain

"Let's not get giddy about England. Their main challenge is going to be the subcontinent. Going and winning in the subcontinent. England have got a lot of tours coming up in the subcontinent, in both forms of the game. So that's going to be their biggest challenge," said Hussain in an interview with ESPN Cricinfo.

Hussain said England should learn from their mistake of 2005 when they won the Ashes for the first time since Mike Gatting's team crushed Australia in 1986-87.

"The challenge is going to be to not do what they did in 2005, when they got giddy, and think they've climbed their Everest and that's it, we've done it. I don't think this lot will do that," said Hussain.  

England tour India this October for a one-day series and play a four-Test series here. Hussain knows the kind of challenges India throws up.

He led England in the 2001-02 Test series in India and couldn't win any of the three Tests. His only consolation was winning the last one-dayer which squared the series against Sourav Ganguly's team.

England owe some of their current cricketing credibility to Hussain, who encountered some very hard times ever since he took over the captaincy in 1999. He said: "I take great pride in watching England and the way we have progressed over the last decade because I go back to the comment that was made when I met (Duncan) Fletcher in a room at Lord's. He looked at me and said, "Why are you the worst side in the world? You have all these counties, all these facilities, all the money, all the players, a good team, a very good team, and we can't be... we're not the best side, but we can't be the worst."
India are coached by the same Fletcher and Hussain felt the Zimbabwean's challenges is connected to the Indian Premier League.  "People write me down as someone who is hugely anti-IPL. I've seen IPL and I know what it means to the Indian public � they love it, British Indians love it. It's a good tournament, but it will exhaust cricketers. It's going to be one of Fletcher's biggest challenges. That if India carry on with IPL, I believe it will hurt," he said.

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