England vs South Africa: Nasser Hussain dubs hosts favourite but warns to be cautious
- England will play three Test matches against South Africa in August and September
- England has won their last five Test matches in 2022
- South Africa are without their star pacer Kagiso Rabada
South Africa is gearing up to face England in a three-match Test series, the first of which will begin on August 17 at the Lord’s Stadium. Ahead of the first Test, former England captain and commentator Nasser Hussain has dubbed the hosts as the favourites to win the series against the Proteas. He has, however, also warned the Three Lions against underestimating the visiting South African team.
“When England take the field against South Africa at Lord’s on Wednesday, their greatest wish will be to continue the momentum built up during four remarkable victories against New Zealand and India,” Nasser Hussain wrote in a Daily Mail column.
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“I fancy them to win the series, but it won’t be easy,” he added.
England beat New Zealand in a three-match Test series in June, winning all of the matches. They also defeated India in a rescheduled Test in July.
South Africa faces a confident English side without their star bowler Kagiso Rabada, who is currently nursing an injury. Duanne Olivier was also ruled out of the series against England with a hip injury. The Proteas currently only have Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje as the only pacers against England.
“South Africa are top of the World Test Championship, and keep churning out results under the gritty leadership of Dean Elgar. Recently, they came from behind to beat India at home,” Hussain wrote.
The 54-year-old also feels that South Africa has a habit of ‘unseating’ England captains and said Ben Stokes, the hosts’ Test skipper, knows he is facing a challenge.
“They’ve had a habit of unseating England captains in the not-too-distant past,” Hussain wrote.
“Stokes will know his team faces a challenge, particularly against the South African bowlers,” he continued.
England has adopted an aggressive strategy in Tests under the tutelage of Brendon McCullum, which has since then been termed Bazball. While Hussain agrees that Bazball is a good strategy, he thinks England needs to be cautious against South Africa in the Test series.
“The change in mindset brought about by Stokes and Brendon McCullum has been outstanding, but England have also had some narrow escapes this summer,” he said.
“They also know there will be times when they have to play the conditions: if the ball’s nipping around, put the big shots in the locker for a bit. Stay positive, but don’t throw it away,” he concluded.