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Cricket: Hussain slams ‘abysmal’ England selection

Former England captain Nasser Hussain delivered a withering indictment on the “abysmal” selection behind the current side following their colossal 340-run defeat by South Africa in the second Test at Trent Bridge on Monday.

Hussain said too many recent call-ups had failed to deliver the goods at international level.

That failure reflected poorly on a selection panel made up of chairman James Whitaker, who played one Test as a batsman for England in 1986, former Test seamer Angus Fraser, now the director of cricket at county champions Middlesex and Mick Newell, who holds a similar position at Trent Bridge-based Nottinghamshire, a Second Division county.

The trio also receive input from England’s Australian coach Trevor Bayliss and the captain, in this case Test skipper Joe Root.

Monday’s reverse, which saw South Africa level the four-match series at 1-1 with more than a day to spare in Nottingham, again raised questions about England’s fallible top order.

Former captain Alastair Cook is now onto his 11th opening partner in Tests in Keaton Jennings since the retirement of Ashes-winning skipper Andrew Strauss, now England’s director of cricket, in 2012.

Meanwhile several batsmen have had a go in a top order where number four Root is the other mainstay.

Jennings and Gary Ballance, recalled for a third crack at Test cricket this series, were both twice out cheaply at Trent Bridge but Hussain said they were just two examples of poor selection in recent years.

“The lads who are coming in aren’t doing anything,” Hussain told Sky Sports.

“They won (the first Test at Lord’s because of Joe Root…the ones they’ve won before have been because of Root, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad in Johannesburg.

“The selectors are going to have to have a good long look at themselves because their record in the last two years — two years ago it was one-day cricket, now in Test match cricket — their selections have been…

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