Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar on Wednesday slammed former England captain Nasser Hussain, who said it was easier to bully India’s previous cricket teams on the field than the current Virat Kohli-led side. Gavaskar, the first to score 10,000 runs in Test matches, toured England five times (1971, 1974, 1979, 1982, 1986) in his international career.
He told Hussain that he would be very angry if cricketers of his generation were told that they could be bullied. Gavaskar and Hussain got into an argument on-air (during the live telecast) on Sony over an article. The former England captain has written this article for a British newspaper. In it, Nasser wrote that the earlier Indian teams were not as strong as a unit compared to this current team, which has taken a 1-0 lead over England in the current series.
Former Indian captain Gavaskar asked on-air Hussain, you said this Indian team cannot be bullied, whereas previous generation teams could. Talking about the previous generation, can you tell which generation? And what exactly does a bully mean?
Hussain tried to explain what he had written in his article, but what Gavaskar understood was no different from it. Hussain said, ‘I just feel that the previous Indian teams say no, no, no to aggression, but what Kohli has done is showing double aggression. I saw a glimpse of it in Sourav Ganguly’s team and he started, which Virat Kohli is continuing. Even when Virat was not in the team (returned home on paternity leave on Australian tour), Ajinkya (Rahane) dominated the Australian team.
Gavaskar rubbished Hussain’s claims with some data. “But when you say teams from the previous generation could have been bullied, I don’t think so. I will be very angry if my generation is called bully. If you look at the record, we won in 1971, which was my first tour of England. We had internal problems in 1974 so we lost 0-3. In 1979 we lost 0-1, it could have been 1-1 if we had chased down the target of 438 at the Oval (India were 429 for eight when the match was drawn).’
Gavaskar said, ‘In 1982 we lost 0-1. In 1986 we won 2-0, which we could have won 3-0. So I don’t think our generation could have been bullied.
Gavaskar said that being aggressive does not mean that you have to answer on the opponent’s face. Without mentioning Kohli’s name, he said, “I don’t think being aggressive means you always have to answer to the opponent’s face. You can show passion, you can show commitment to your team without shouting after every fall.