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Opinion

Hussain: Brave Ed Smith has inspired ‘a real turn-around in English cricket’

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Former England captain Nasser Hussain has revealed his admiration for England’s national selector Ed Smith, who has inspired “a real turn-around in English cricket” by picking his best XI without worrying about outside influences.

The pundit has also praised all-rounder Sam Curran, who starred with both bat and ball in the first Test, claiming the Man of the Match award, but Hussain has called for patience.

Ed Smith, England’s national selector

“With young lads like Sam Curran, the graph will be much more up and down than [James] Anderson and [Stuart] Broad,” he told Sky Sports ahead of the second day’s play. “You’ll have good days – he had a match-winning game with both bat and ball at Edgbaston – and quieter games like he did at Headingley (versus Pakistan).

“I still don’t think they see Curran as a third seamer. That’s why they wanted [Chris] Woakes here. They like him as a fourth after Woakes, but he lengthens the batting. You would have got great odds on [Ollie] Pope and Curran playing here and batting in the top seven.”

Curran put in a match-winning all-round performance at Edgbaston

Curran put in a match-winning all-round performance at Edgbaston

Ed Smith took on the role as England’s chief selector in April this year, and Hussain likes the way he has gone about his business.

“It’s a real turnaround in English cricket. I admire Ed Smith – he’s made some brave calls with [Jos] Buttler, [Adil] Rashid, Curran, Pope. I’ve worked with selectors who are so busy saving their job that they’re not doing their job.

“Ed is doing his job, picking the best side and not worrying about the stick he’ll get if he gets it wrong.”

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