Sachin Tendulkar: England's Nasser Hussain was the best captain I played against
- Sachin Tendulkar rates Nasser Hussain as the greatest captain he played against.
Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has paid a huge compliment to former England captain Nasser Hussain by rating him as the best captain he ever came up against. Although Hussain could at times be negative with his tactics, most notably during the 3rd Test between India and England at Bangalore in 2001, Tendulkar said that the Madras-born Hussain was one of the most astute thinkers of the game and was always proactive with his field placings.
“Among the captains I played against, I consider Nasser Hussain the best. He was an excellent strategist and even if some of his tactics occasionally bordered on the negative — using the left-arm spinner Ashley Giles to bowl to me outside my leg stump from over the wicket, for example — he was a very good thinker about the game and was proactive,” Tendulkar wrote in his autobiography, to be released on November 6, titled “Playing it My Way”.
“He would not place a fielder in a particular position after a shot was played. Rather, he had the ability to anticipate the shot and would place a fielder well in advance, making a real difference to his team,” said Tendulkar.
Talking about the Bangalore Test, where Tendulkar was frustrated by the negative over the wicket ploy of Hussain and Giles, resulting in him losing his composure and being stumped for 90 for the only time in his 200-Test career, he said: “Nasser and Giles were counting on the fact that I would have limited scoring options off balls bowled there and were hoping to frustrate me and induce me to play a false shot. They had essentially given up any attempt to get me out in favour of trying to get under my skin.
“While Giles did manage to have me stumped, for the first time in my Test career, in the third Test in Bangalore , overall these tactics had little impact on the result of that series. I scored a lot of runs in all three Test matches and was declared Player of the Series.”
Current skipper Michael Clarke the best among Australians
Tendulkar played 39 out of his 200 Test matches against Australia, which is the most he played against any opposition, and came up against captains ranging all the way from Allan Border in 1991/92 to Michael Clarke as recently as 2013, with Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting sandwiched in between. Naturally then, he had an opportunity to assess each of these captains from close quarters, and it is Clarke who stands out in the Mumbaikar’s eyes.
“Among the Australians, I rate Michael Clarke as the best captain I played against. While I was too young to judge Allan Border in 1992, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting benefited from having some of the greatest players of our generation in their teams. With so many match-winners, the role of the captain is automatically reduced,” he opined.
Had an uneasy relationship with selectors during my time as captain
Meanwhile, assessing his own tenure as Indian captain, Tendulkar feels he could have achieved better results, but was given a raw deal by the selectors who didn’t always give him the players he wanted.
“Looking back at my own captaincy career, I feel I could have achieved better results during my first stint had there been more cooperation. I never felt totally comfortable with the relationship with the selectors. This was reflected in the teams I was given, which were not always the ones I would have chosen,” he revealed.Published 05 Nov 2014, 12:25 IST