Former England Captain Nasser Hussain believes that Virat Kohli has inculcated a fighting attitude and winning mentality in the Indian team, and that’s why the team doesn’t get bullied by tough opponents or situations.
India came up with a memorable 2-1 series win against Australia, despite missing Virat Kohli, who was on paternity leave, for the last three Tests and several first-team players who were out injured.
Hussain has warned the England team to be careful against the Indians during the four-match Test series starting on February 5, in Chennai.
“Any side that can go to Australia, go 1-0 down after being bowled out for 36, lose Kohli because he’s going home on paternity leave, lose your bowling attack and still come back and win after some of the stuff that went on off the field in Australia, they won’t be bullied,” Hussain told Sky Sports.
“They (India) are a tough side. I think Kohli has instilled that. Make no mistake, at home, they are a formidable outfit.”
However, Hussain also said that England have got some much needed confidence after their 2-0 series win in Sri Lanka and they will look to carry it forward into this series. He has been quite critical of the English team management for their decision of resting Jonny Bairstow for the first two Tests against India. According to him, England should field their best XI in the first Test.
“That’s a really good sign that they’re doing that, with harder tasks ahead. The Ashes, India home and away, New Zealand confirmed, but that is great momentum and confidence going into an iconic series which is India away,” he said.
“…I was brought up in India and I’ve always seen India vs England as one of the great series – all I would have asked is turn up to Chennai with your best 13 to 15 players.
“I think England fans have earned the right for their best team to be there that first day. If it means (Stuart) Broad and (James) Anderson playing together because it’s a bit green, worry about the Ashes down the line.”