Nasser Hussain laments "predictable" Ashes squad as England bid to retain urn

Nasser Hussain has labelled England 's squad for the Ashes "predictable", criticising the selectors for "refusing to take any kind of risk".

England have decided against picking any uncapped players in their squad, with all 17 featuring in Test match cricket at some point this year.

Hussain also believes the absence of Ben Stokes, who continues to take an indefinite break from the sport to prioritise his mental wellbeing and recover from a finger injury, is "the biggest concern".

In his latest column for the Daily Mail, Hussain said: "England have picked a very predictable Ashes squad, avoiding selecting any uncapped players and refusing to take any kind of risk.

"The absence of Stokes is the biggest concern. It gives England a massive selection headache.

"Without him, it will be a nightmare trying to balance the side and I envisage England going into matches with an all-seam attack backed up by Root’s off-spin.

"Without someone of Stokes’s all-round calibre, you are either sacrificing a batsman and creating a long tail, or muddling through with a four-man attack including a frontline spinner.

"With the Kookaburra ball, that is a daunting prospect.

Hussain also feels there will be a lot of pressure on Mark Wood as the only bowler who can consistently reach speeds of over 90mph.

England had hoped to go into the Ashes with a battery of quicks, but injuries to Jofra Archer and Olly Stone put paid to those plans.

"A lack of ‘X factor’ in the bowling attack is a bit of a worry and they’ll need to inject some pace, which means Mark Wood becomes a pivotal player," Hussain added. "How they use him and how many games in a row he can play becomes vital.

"But history tells us that you cannot field a one-pace bowling unit of four right-arm medium fast bowlers in Australian conditions."

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