Before India and England took the field for their encounter in Leeds, Sunil Gavaskar interrogated Nasser Hussain for his recent remarks about Indian teams of the previous generations. In his recent column for the Daily Mail, Hussain stated that this current Indian side, led by Virat Kohli, is not being bullied like the previous generation Indian teams were.
Seemingly offended, Sunil Gavaskar, in the pre-match show on Wednesday, asked Hussain to explain which generation of Indian cricketers was he talking about, who he thought were getting “bullied”.
Hussain lauded on Kohli’s side, however, while avoiding an exact response to Sunil Gavaskar’s question.
Here is the full conversation between Sunil Gavaskar and Nasser Hussain:
“You said this India will not be bullied as perhaps the previous generations would be. (I) Belonging to previous generation, could you perhaps enlighten which generation? And what is the exact meaning of bully?” Sunil Gavaskar asked Hussain.
“I just think, the Indian side under the aggression of the past, would have said ‘no no no’. But what Kohli has done is to make them go doubly hard. I saw a little bit of that in Sourav Ganguly’s side and he started that, Virat is continuing with it. Even when Virat was not there, Ajinkya really went hard at the Australians. I just don’t think you want to wake this Indian side up,” Hussain replied.
The 72-year-old former Indian opener was unimpressed with Hussain’s reply, and pressed further asking the Indian teams he was referring to. He then pointed out the records of series and matches wins the bygone Indian teams had registered in England.
Gavaskar added: “But when you say previous generations were bullied, I don’t think so. I’d be very upset if my generation was being talked about as being bullied. If you have a look at the record, in 1971 we won, that was my first tour in England.
“1974, we had internal problems so we lost 3-0. 1979, we lost 1-0, it could have been 1-1 if we chased down 438 at the Oval. 1982 we again lost 1-0. In 1986 we won 2-0, we could have won it 3-0.
“So, I don’t think my generation we were bullied. I don’t think aggression means you have always got to be at the face of the opposition. You can show passion, you can show your commitment towards your team without yelling after each fall of wicket.”
“I for one, quite like the way Kohli leads this side. That’s what I wanted to say. That team talk in which he said ‘let’s unleash fire on this English side’ and you could see the fire that they unleashed,” Hussain continued dodging Gavaskar’s question.
“There is no argument in that. The question is saying that the previous generations were bullied. I don’t think this is right,” Sunil Gavaskar said.
The show’s host, Harsha Bhogle, then interrupted the debate stating that Hussain will have to leave a bit early for the toss.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli had won his first toss as Test captain in England, and elected to bat first. India are unchanged, while Joe Root announced a couple of changes to his side which lost at Lord’s.