Former England captain Nasser Hussain recently stated that India was a nice team before Sourav Ganguly took over the captaincy role. His statement has not been well taken by former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar who said that Naseer’s theory is nonsense.
Nasser Hussain and Sourav Ganguly were the arch-rivals in the cricket field but the former has always praised the latter for his captaincy. In the recent interaction, he said that India became a tough India after the admission of the aggressive captain Ganguly. But Sunil Gavaskar slammed Nasser, saying that the team can not be labelled weak if its player doesn’t scream or swear. He also named Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and others who were not aggressive as their peers but were also not weak.
“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 in 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?”
Yes, Ganguly was a top captain: Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar further questioned Nasser’s knowledge about Indian teams in the 70s and 80s. He even said that the former England cricketer should not come to the conclusion if he doesn’t know about India’s cricket history.
“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,” Gavaskar said.