Sunny slams Nasser: What does he know of pre-Ganguly teams?

Updated: 13 July, 2020 09:19 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

Ganguly and Hussain were rival captains during the famous 2002 NatWest Series at Lord's, where India stunned England in a thrilling final

Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar

Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has criticised former England captain, Nasser Hussain for saying on a television show that the Indian team got tougher when Sourav Ganguly captained them.

Gavaskar wrote in his fortnightly column published in mid-day on Sunday: "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?

"And what does he know of 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."

The Mumbai-based India captain-turned-commentator and writer was sad that no one on the show challenged Hussain's view. "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," remarked Gavaskar.

Ganguly and Hussain were rival captains during the famous 2002 NatWest Series at Lord's, where India stunned England in a thrilling final.

Meanwhile, Gavaskar, who turned 71, on July 10, hailed one-time adversary Michael Holding for his "passionate and powerful oration" on racism. In fact, he called Holding's outburst during the ongoing England v West Indies Test at Southampton as his best birthday gift this year.

Gavaskar reminded his readers that he has always been highlighting how coloured players invariably gets dropped and are viewed as weak. He joined in to condemn racism: "Why does everything negative have to do with the word black? Blackmailed, blackballed, blacklisted to give just three examples. I am sure readers smarter than me will come up with more such examples, but this is just to show the influencing, which I believe the modern word is for brainwashing."

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First Published: 12 July, 2020 07:10 IST

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