India's legendary opening batsman, Sunil Gavaskar, has lashed out at the former English skipper Nasser Hussain for his comments about the Indian team getting tougher under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly.
Speaking on a recent television show, Nasser Hussain had stated that Sourav Ganguly played a crucial role in the transformation of India into a hot-blooded, feisty team:
“Indian teams were incredibly talented but I always found playing the Indian team before Sourav, they were a sort of nice. Very friendly. You respected them but weren’t scared of them. Sourav made that side a tough, feisty side.”
Sunil Gavaskar was clearly unimpressed with the commentator's comments and poured out his disappointment in a column, slamming Nasser Hussain's viewpoint.
“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."
To say that earlier teams were not tough is nonsense: Sunil Gavaskar
The Mumbai-born Sunil Gavaskar quoted examples of the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, amongst others and asked whether Nasser Hussain is suggesting that these prominent cricketers were not tough.
He reflected upon the tenaciousness of the Indian teams of previous decades and maintained that it's 'nonsense' to think that those teams of previous eras were 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? 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 71-year old also displayed his dissatisfaction over the fact that no one called out the commentator and challenged his point of view during the television show.