Cricket Expert & Columnist
Tough decision to bring in Simon Kerrigan's spin, says Nasser Hussain
'Unfair to judge Simon Kerrigan on one game'
Last Updated: 14/07/14 8:36am
England selectors must make brave selection decisions, but Nasser Hussain is not sure that should be playing Simon Kerrigan in the second Test at Lord's.
Kerrigan has been recalled for the second Test against India after the first finished in an uninspiring draw at Trent Bridge on Sunday.
The Lancashire left-arm spinner is included in a 14-man squad for the first time since a nervous debut against Australia in last year's fifth Ashes Test - on that occasion he bowled just eight overs, conceding 53 runs.
Sky Sports expert Hussain says, despite the need for selectors to make tough decisions, Kerrigan might not be the right man to punt on at Lord's.
He said: "The problem with playing Kerrigan is the one game he played at the Oval. It’s very harsh to judge someone on one game but it did look like he just yipped up a little bit to be honest; he didn’t come out right.
"Cook didn’t handle him well either, to be fair to him. He didn’t bowl him again in the game and just left him in the outfield.
"It’s unfair to judge him on just one game but if he goes again and has another bad game under pressure and doesn’t come out right, then you’re just left with three seamers. One of them is Liam Plunkett, who likes to bowl short bursts, and then you're back to Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad; the whole point of bringing your spinner in is to rest your big guns and you actually end up bowling them all into the ground.
"If you make this decision then you better get it right."
It’s unfair to judge him on just one game but if he goes again and has another bad game under pressure and doesn’t come out right, then you’re just left with three seamers.
Kerrigan, who worked under England coach Peter Moores at Old Trafford, bowled in the nets during this week's drawn opener against India in Nottingham and takes his place in the squad for Lord's as part of an otherwise-unchanged group.
If he is selected Nasser believes Ben Stokes would be the man to miss out, with the all-rounder still searching for his role in the side. He added: "If they’re really going to play him then it again goes back to Stokes, because he’s the one - what’s his role in the side?
“If he can bat at six or seven you move him to seven and Prior to six or the other way around and then you can bring your spinner in.
"At some stage this new group of England selectors need to make a difficult decision.
"What I’ve seen so far is no real difficult decisions; like here, Chris Jordan or Stokes? ‘Well Stokes deserves to come back in after Australia so we’ll play him’. Soon they’re going to have to make the difficult decision. It seems like they’ve gone some way in saying the spinner is Kerrigan but soon they’re going to have to start making some tough decisions.
"It will be interesting if they’ve just brought him into the squad [Kerrigan] because they feel they need a spinner and then look at conditions, or are they really going to play him?
"It’s really how you see Stokes the cricketer as to how you get Kerrigan into the side, because if you don’t think Stokes can bat six or seven - his confidence is not high enough - then the spinner just comes in for Stokes for me."
Former England captain and Sky Sports pundit, Andrew Strauss, added: "I personally don’t think England will end up playing him.
"There’s too much of a difficult decision for them to make as to how they get him in the side.
“They would prefer to see a little bit of green in the wicket and go with the four seam attack and then maybe sometime later on in the series introduce a spinner on a wicket that’s going to turn more."