Nasser Hussain labelled Tim Paine’s captaincy “horrendous” during a Sky Easter Watchalong on the Sky Sports Cricket YouTube channel.
The former England captain was particularly critical of when Paine chose to bring the field up to try and prevent Ben Stokes from taking a single. After facing four balls to start his innings, No.11 Jack Leach didn’t face more than two balls in a row until the final over of the game as Stokes manipulated the strike to good effect, consistently able to take a single off the penultimate ball of the over.
“If Joe Root had captained like this in the last hour of this game, we would have absolutely nailed him for about nine hours off air that night” he said to fellow pundit Rob Key. “This was horrendous captaincy. Ben Stokes there says ‘two balls’ [that he would have allowed Leach to face]. Jack Leach didn’t get two balls until the last over of the game.
“[Paine] went five balls with the field out virtually every time, banking on getting Jack Leach out with the last ball of the over, and it played right into [England’s hands]. Ben’s shot selection was exceptional here, but from this moment in, not just the skipper, the Aussies just lost the plot.”