Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar on Wednesday slammed former England captain Nasser Hussain who has said that India’s previous cricket teams were easier to bully on the field than the current team led by Virat Kohli.
Gavaskar, popularly known as the Little Master, told Hussain that he would be very angry if cricketers of his generation were told that they “could have been bullied”. Gavaskar and Hussain got into an ‘on-air’ debate on ‘Sony’ over an article the former England captain wrote for a UK newspaper.
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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 India captain Gavaskar asked ‘on-air’ Hussain, ‘You said this Indian team cannot be ‘bullyed’ while the previous generation teams could. Talking about the previous generation, can you tell which generation? And what exactly is meant by ‘bully’?’
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Hussain tried to explain what he meant in his article, but what Gavaskar understood was no different. Hussain said, ‘I just think that the previous Indian teams say ‘no, no, no’ to aggression, but what Kohli has done is showing double aggression.
Hussain said, ‘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.
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Gavaskar rubbished Hussain’s claims with some data. “But when you say the teams of the previous generation were ‘bullied’, I don’t think so,” he said. I will be very angry if my generation is called ‘bullying’. 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).’
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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 ‘bullyed’. ‘
Gavaskar said that being aggressive doesn’t mean that you have to answer at the opponent’s face, he said without mentioning Kohli’s name, ‘I don’t think being aggressive means you always have to answer on the opponent’s face it happens. You can show passion, you can show commitment to your team without shouting after every fall.