Former England captain Nasser Hussian is widely acknowledged as one of the most respected voices in world cricket. His opinions on any game or a player get highly appreciated by fans all around the globe. A few days ago, Nasser had spoken about Indian team before Sourav Ganguly took over the captaincy and compared it with ‘the era of Ganguly’.
“I have always said, and this is a generalization, but I have always said about Ganguly, that he made India a tougher side. So, before Ganguly, there were 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 an enjoyable experience.”
“Playing against a Ganguly side, you knew you were in a battle; you knew that Ganguly understood the passion of Indian cricket fans and it wasn’t just a game of cricket. It was more important than a game of cricket. He was feisty, and he picked feisty cricketers whether it would be Harbhajan or Yuvraj or whoever – feisty in your face cricketers – that when you met him away from the game, were lovely, friendly. Sourav’s like that,” Nasser had said.
However, Nasser’s statement didn’t go well with Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar. The veteran cricketer has lashed out at Nasser for his comments.
“Nasser (Hussain) 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,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Mid-Day.
“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? “Gavaskar asked.
Gavaskar further criticized Nasser, stating what does he know about of the Indian team before Ganguly was appointed as a skipper of the Indian team.
“And what does he know of the toughness of the teams in the seventies and eighties, 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,” the 71-year-old added.
“It’s about time the TV guys stopped using head-nodders when aspersions are cast on our cricket history and use people who will stand up and counter this bullying which actually consolidates the perception that we are too nice and therefore not tough,” concluded Gavaskar.