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The way India responded to England after being bullied in the second Test at Lord’s made headlines all around the world. Many experts, including former England captain Nasser Hussain, believed that this Indian team led by Virat Kohli would not be bullied like the previous generations.
Indian batting great Sunil Gavaskar, who dominated world cricket in the late 70s and 80s, wasn’t pleased with Hussain’s remarks and when the two came face to face, albeit virtually, during the pre-match show, things got so ugly between them that Harsha Bhogle had to intervene to calm things down.
Referring to Hussain’s Dailymail article, Gavaskar demanded an explanation from the former England captain for his opinion piece and things began to heat up.
“You said this India will not be bullied as perhaps the previous generations would be. [I] Belonging to [the] previous generation, could you perhaps enlighten which generation? And what is the exact meaning of bully?” Gavaskar asked Hussain before the toss on Sony Sports Network.
Instead of comparing the two eras, Hussain politely answered that all he meant was that no side in the world would want to take on Kohli’s team because they might end up regretting it, just like England did at Lord’s.
© Instagram/Indian Cricket Team
“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, [and now] 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 gave a polite reply.
Gavaskar, however, wasn’t ready to buy his reply and dragged things further and reminded him of the results players of his generation were able to achieve in England.
“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 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,” Gavaskar said.
Watching things escalate between the two legends of the game, presenter Harsha Bhogle intervened and calmed things down. Fans, who had tuned in to get expert’s opinion about what strategies both teams could deploy in the third Test among other things, were left fuming as they saw two former cricketers clash.
In fact, most of the fans loved how Hussain reacted to the whole situation and expressed himself in a very polite manner. Gavaskar, on the other hand, was slammed for starting an unnecessary fight over it and dragging it for far too long. The way he gave excuses for the series that he lost in England was nothing but comical and added to people’s fury.
I think Nasser is entitled to his opinion. And he was being grilled on an opinion piece. SMG also entitled to his but saying ‘we could’ve won in ’79, we had internal problems in ’74 etc’ was silly. It could have been light-hearted & respectful, instead it got serious & awkward. https://t.co/CxBK5j4R5t
— Raunak Kapoor (@RaunakRK) August 25, 2021
That was so unnecessary from Gavaskar, glad that Nasser Hussain reacted the way he did. https://t.co/9xjgnB92Tr
— Omkar Mankame (@Oam_16) August 25, 2021
Seriously Sunil Gavaskar is a grumpy old man. Fighting against Nasser Hussain at the start of the pre-match show on his recent article and it is quite unnecessary. You could have had a discussion in between the match but this debate was unnecessary @SonySportsIndia #Cricket
— Aryan Jain (@aryan_jain17) August 25, 2021
Hard to understand why Gavaskar is getting so hyper nowadays. Needs to calm down
— subhasis (@subhasis19) August 25, 2021
Cringe man, why does he have to attach personal stigma to every time someone says this is the best indian team, did so when ravi shastri said the same after bgt 2018 win
— (@chillyycorndog) August 25, 2021
Sunny is a legend but this was unnecessary pettiness on his part . Kudos to @nassercricket for respectfully swaying away from the line and not escalating the uncomfortable situation in the studio.
— Chris Elisha (@chriselisha) August 25, 2021
Everyone is entitled to their opinion and targeting someone for an opinion piece that he wrote a few days back was clearly uncalled for. Instead of going at him on Live TV, there were much better ways he could have handled the situation in.