Ask Nasser and Bumble: Luckiest innings you’ve ever seen? One rule you’d change? Nasser Hussain and David Lloyd answer your teasers
- Nasser had a lucky five or six bats during his career with Essex and England
- Joe Root plays the game with a smile on his face and is easy on the eye
- Jos Buttler should be given three or four games when Test cricket starts again
- Follow @asknasserbumble on twitter to leave your questions or email [email protected]
How many bats did you use in a year? Was there a lucky one?
Nasser: I had a lucky five or six in my career — it was the one that was getting me runs at the time. But by the end of my career I was an absolute fruit loop with my bats. I would play with the handles and take Gray-Nicolls bats down the road from me to Warsop to get weight taken off them and make adjustments to the handle etc.
Even though I would throw my bat at times when I was out I did try to look after them when I found one I was happy with.
Nasser Hussain had a lucky five or six bats during his career with Essex and England
Bumble: When I started we bought two bats for four pounds, 11 shillings and I’ve still got the bill somewhere. Goodness, you looked after them because you didn’t want to spend another four pounds, 11 shillings — I was only on seven pounds a week.
You knocked them in, put linseed oil on and prayed they would last the season. I’ve still got the bat I scored my double hundred for England with. I got it signed but the flaming signatures have faded.
Should we use a Kookaburra ball to give us more chance to beat the Aussies?
Bumble: I think balls around the world should be made to the same specifications, with the same number of stitches and the same width of seam. I think the Dukes is the better ball. I can’t understand why the Kookaburra goes so soft.
Eoin Morgan may have thought out bowing out after winning the World Cup last year
Nasser: I don’t think everything should be geared towards beating Australia but perhaps the summer before going there you might want groundsmen to prepare flatter pitches. What’s more important is getting the right type of bowlers. You can’t go to Australia with four medium-fast men and a finger spinner. You need extra pace.
Nasser, you bowed out at the top with a test ton. Should Eoin Morgan have retired after the World Cup?
Nasser: There was certainly a case for it and I’m sure it crossed Eoin’s mind because there could never be a better way to go out than that World Cup final.
But the difference in my case is that I was done and dusted. I’d become completely scrambled. Eoin still has so much to give and we can be a bit premature in telling people it’s time to go.
Did you have a ground where you could do no wrong … Or right?
Nasser: I couldn’t do anything right at Old Trafford even though it was invariably a good batting pitch. I have good memories of Edgbaston and Trent Bridge. I love Sydney because I got runs and we won there.
Bumble: I was terrible at Headingley. And Lord’s. I loved Old Trafford but I always seemed to do all right at Hampshire’s old ground in Southampton.
Joe Root plays the game with a smile on his face, has great rhythm and is easy on the eye
Who has been your favourite England player since joining the commentary box?
Bumble: Kevin Pietersen on ability and I love watching Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad. Seeing Jimmy get to where he is coming from Burnley is great and he still pops back to his old club. It’s a source of pride round my way.
Nasser: Joe Root. For the whole package. He’s a great ambassador for his country, plays the game with a smile on his face, has great rhythm to his game and is easy on the eye. With all the pressures of captaincy he always has time for you and is a genuinely nice lad. He promotes the game bloody well.
England’s test keeper: Jos Buttler or Ben Foakes?
Nasser: The fact England stuck with Jos Buttler for Sri Lanka should mean they give him another three or four games when Test cricket starts again. He is so talented and has done it in Test cricket. But he has said himself he needs to get runs pretty quickly when he plays again or there will be a change, whether England go to Ben Foakes or Jonny Bairstow.
Bumble: I read in his interview with our paper that Foakes has had issues enjoying the game and that would be in my mind. Going back, you’d say Jack Russell was probably a better keeper than Alec Stewart but you’d pick Stewart.
Go back further and Alan Knott would play ahead of Bob Taylor. I think the same applies now with Jos. That’s who I’d pick.
Jos Buttler should be given another three or four games when Test cricket starts again
Favourite overseas cities to visit?
Nasser: I love the culture of Mumbai, I really enjoy Cape Town because of the ground and where we stay and, even though it’s not a city, Barbados. Everything about the place and Caribbean cricket is great.
Bumble: Melbourne. I love walking down to Fitzroy because there are some fantastic pubs and restaurants.
Barbados is fantastic and the third one for me is Lahore. I used to really enjoy going down the markets when we went there and to the Badshahi Mosque that can hold 110,000 people.
If you could change one rule in cricket what would it be?
Bumble: How many do you want? I don’t think players should be allowed a drink outside the designated breaks. They get two when it’s hot every session as it is. It just wastes time.
And if a player leaves the field no substitute should be allowed for three overs. It’s all about improving over-rates which are just not good enough.
Carlos Brathwaite produced a brilliant display of batting in the 2016 World T20 final
Nasser: We must do something about over-rates. They struggle to get 90 in a day even with the extra half-hour. Stronger umpiring when things are slowing down has to be the way to do it.
What was the most fortunate innings you played or saw?
Bumble: Whenever I batted the newspapers would always say the same thing: ‘Always ill at ease and never in command.’
I once got a hundred in 100 overs for Lancs against Leicester and Ray Illingworth said it was the worst innings he’d ever seen!
But the one I remember was Mike Atherton making 17 at Southport in 1994 against Somerset and a rapid, wild Dutch bowler called Andre van Troost. Athers took him on until he’d run out of puff and our middle order cashed in.
Nasser: Nathan Astle’s double hundred for New Zealand against us in Christchurch in 2002 was the best innings that didn’t win a match! My hundred earlier in that game on a green drop-in pitch was one of my scratchiest but also gave me almost as much pleasure as the double hundred at Edgbaston because it got us to a competitive score.
Not including cricket, name the sports event you most want to go to after lockdown?
Nasser: I enjoy my occasional trips to Wimbledon but I’ve always wanted to go to the Masters. I love watching golf and I want to know what Augusta is really like.
Bumble: Thirsk races. They are talking about racing behind closed doors and I really hope that comes off. I flipping love my racing.
Ben Stokes to Carlos Brathwaite in the 2016 World T20 final. Terrible over or brilliant batting?
Bumble: Brilliant batting. He was absolutely in the zone and I got the same feeling as when I watched Yuvraj Singh tonk Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over in Durban. Ben tried everything and it didn’t matter. He was just going out the park. It was a great spectacle.
Nasser: A bit of both. Ben would admit he got his yorkers wrong and bowled far too straight but pressure scrambles your brain and all credit to him for coming back so strongly from that. Brathwaite hasn’t done much since then but I remember having a conversation with Ian Bishop just before and he told me to watch out for him. It was great final-over batting.
Follow @asknasserbumble on twitter to leave your questions or email [email protected]
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