Men’s ODI WC: Nasser Hussain unsure how England fit Harry Brook in their batting line-up

New Delhi, Sep 30 (IANS): Former captain Nasser Hussain said he's still unsure over how England will fit young batter Harry Brook into their batting line-up ahead of the defending champions starting their 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup campaign against New Zealand at Ahmedabad from October 5.

England included Brook in its final 15-member squad for the World Cup, with experienced opener Jason Roy being excluded to accommodate him at the eleventh hour. Brook had been out of England’s provisional 15-man squad, with many asking for his inclusion based on his red-hot form in shorter formats.

The Brook-Roy swap evoked Hussain replacing Nick Knight ahead of England’s opening match in the 1999 World Cup, but he laughed off those comparisons. "Not at all... I think they pretty much know five of their top six, to be honest."

"They still know it's going to be Bairstow, Malan, Root, Buttler... it's whether Harry Brook plays. They've obviously picked him, but how do they get him into the top six and have all their bowling options? They're not quite where they were, but they're certainly not 1999!" Hussain was quoted as saying by The Mirror.

He also feels that all is not over for Roy in international cricket, who missed England’s series win over New Zealand before the World Cup due to back spasms. "Certainly not chaotic, far from it. I think it's more ruthless than chaotic. It was his position to lose, and he didn't lose it through lack of form... he lost it through lack of fitness."

"Take nothing away from Jason Roy, he will be (remembered) as one our greatest ever white-ball cricketers. The other day here (at The Oval against New Zealand) when Stokes got his 182, they put up the list of highest scorers (for England). Roy was featuring on there."

"He can go nought, nought, nought - but then he'll get you a massive 150 or whatever. It just shows the talent they have. They wanted Brook in the end, and the injury to Roy opened that door. I don't think you should write off Jason Roy."

Since their 2019 World Cup triumph on home soil, England have played only 42 matches in the format, winning 22 while losing 16 of them. In between, they won the T20 World Cup in 2022 in Australia, while playing Ashes too. Hussain feels England couldn’t have done much in their ODI World Cup preparation due to other formats taking precedence.

"They're just looking at the schedule, and I absolutely agree with this. I think it's what boards need to do... every board should be focusing up until that T20 (World Cup next year) on T20 cricket. And when it's a 50-over year, you should be focusing on that."

"Unfortunately for England, occasionally that four-year (ODI World Cup) cycle clashes with the Ashes - as it did this summer - so they had to focus on the Ashes. Before that was the T20 World Cup, and they had to focus on that."

"They won that T20 World Cup, and they had a pretty good Ashes as well. They've got it just about right. These lads play so much white-ball cricket now anyway, a lot of them have played in India. I don't see any other option rather than the one they've taken."



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Title: Men’s ODI WC: Nasser Hussain unsure how England fit Harry Brook in their batting line-up

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