In his column for Sky Sports, Hussain wrote that rain saved England at Lord’s, but they could not utilize the opportunity. He said, “The rain at Lord's probably saved England a little bit, they've been brilliant here; their batsmen played very, very sound cricket, their bowlers and the catching was superb behind the stumps. It was also an important win for New Zealand.”
According to Hussain, the win was important for the Kiwis as they do not enjoy a great record away from home. He added that New Zealand would go into the World Test Championship (WTC) final as favourites. The former England skipper further said, “For all their success, away from home against teams like India, Australia and England, their record is actually poor. So this was a very important win, not only historically but also with what lies ahead with the World Test Championship final, they'll go into that with a lot of confidence.”
“Michael Atherton and Simon Doull were talking about how this is probably a golden era of New Zealand cricket because this is a complete side, they don't rely on one or two cricketers and if you look after those then you can get through the others. This side, as they've shown in making six changes here, still look a fantastic outfit,” he went on to add.
Hussain also pointed out that, for a nation like New Zealand, to be above India, England and Australia in the Test rankings, is a rather significant achievement. The Kiwis are back to the No. 1 spot in the ICC Test rankings following their win on Sunday. He added, “That's nice but for them now, the first ever final of the World Test Championship, if they could go that one stage further and beat the mighty India, that will be a phenomenal achievement.”
The ex-England skipper was critical of the hosts’ batting line-up. England crumbled to 122 in their second innings. He said, “As for England, their batting line-up has failed for a little while, their bowlers have been absolutely magnificent... But I do think we need to see some changes in the batting line-up. Not necessarily changes in personnel but changes in approach. I think England should look at this New Zealand side and think why a country with 110 first-class male cricketers, why are they able to produce all this strength in depth? We should look at them and try and improve.”
England scored 303 and 122 in their two innings. New Zealand responded with 388 and chased down 38 with eight wickets in hand.
--By A Cricket Correspondent