Former England captain Nasser Hussain’s remarks on the previous Indian teams have not got well with legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar. The little master, who recently turned 71, has questioned Nasser Hussain’s perception after he said that Sourav Ganguly made the Indian team “tough” and that teams before him consisted of “nice” people always greeting the opposition players.
The statements made by Hussain were not shocking as Sourav Ganguly had defeated a team led by him in a historic 2002 Natwest Series final. India in the match had fought from no where and won the match much to the delight of the former India captain Ganguly who swirled his t-shirt in the iconic Lord’s balcony. Nasser Hussain had said that Ganguly taught his team that cricket and winning at any cost comes first.
“I have always said, and this is a generalisation, but I have always said about Ganguly, that he made India a tougher side. So, before Ganguly, they were a very talented side, but you felt they were also a nice side very down to earth, would meet you with morning greetings, morning Nasser, it was a very pleasant experience,” Hussain had said.
The aforementioned comments had irked Sunil Gavaskar, who himself has captained the Indian team in past. Gavaskar mocked at Nasser Hussain’s perception and asked if he thinks that players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble weak according to him. Gavaskar expressed his wonder saying is chest-pumping, swearing and screaming the only proof of toughness?
“Nasser went on to say that earlier, the team would be wishing the opposition good morning and smiling at them etc. See this perception: That if you are nice then you are weak. That unless you are in the face of the opposition, you are not tough. Is he suggesting that Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh to name just a few were not tough? That just because they went about their business without any chest-thumping, swearing, screaming and pumping their arms in obscene gestures, they were weak?” Sunil Gavaskar wrote in his fortnightly column published in mid-day on Sunday.
Sunil Gavaskar, the first batsman to complete 10,000 Test runs reminded Nasser Hussain that the Indian team of ’70s and ’80s won home and away matches to make statements and were equally tough.
“And what does he know of the toughness of the teams in the ’70s and ’80s which won overseas as well as at home to make that statement? Yes, Ganguly was a top captain, taking over the reins at a most delicate time in Indian cricket, but to say that earlier teams were not tough is nonsense,” Sunil Gavaskar stated.