Sunil Gavaskar has lashed out at former England captain Nasser Hussain for suggesting that India were not a tough team before Sourav Ganguly. He wrote in an aggressive column that being courteous should not be taken as weakness and that Hussain does not know anything of Indian cricket in the 1970s and ’80s.
Writing for Mid-Day on Sunday, Gavaskar said, “Nasser went on to say that earlier the (Indian) 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 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.
Hussain drew Gavaskar’s ire for saying during a recent online conversation with Harsha Bhogle that Ganguly’s appointment as captain made India tougher, and that India began to win more matches overseas due to this shift in culture.
Gavaskar 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.”
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