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Hussain flays Indian attitude

Calcutta: Former England captain Nasser Hussain has questioned the “attitude” of some of India’s ”God-like” cricketers, and also doubted their hunger to succeed in the longer version of the game.

He handpicked some of Indian cricket’s big names and questioned their commitment towards Test cricket in the wake of the India’s back-to-back defeat in the ongoing four-Test series against England.

“India have big questions to answer in the aftermath of the Calcutta Test and the biggest surrounds the attitude of their near God-like top names,” Hussain wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.

“When the likes of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir and the rest went back to their hotel rooms after that defeat in the third Test, how much were they hurting? How much hunger for the long-haul form of the game — with its mental and physical demands — have these multi-millionaire players still got?

“Are they thinking, deep down, ‘Never mind’, and prioritising instead the fun, glamour and huge financial rewards that come from the Indian Premier League?”

“(Coach Duncan) Fletcher will want to look into the eyes of Dhoni, Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and even (Sachin) Tendulkar to see how much hunger they have,” he wrote in his piece.

“Fletcher has a very different job now... When he was the England coach, he could take people on for the good of the team. He would incur the wrath of many a county chairman because he knew what was best for England and he wasn’t afraid to upset people along the way.

“And he turned English cricket around with the help of central contracts and the sort of support for the England team that poor David Lloyd could only dream about when he was coach,” he elaborated on Fletcher.

Defending the coach, he added: “Can Fletcher do that now? Perhaps if India lose this series 1-3, the public will realise that there needs to be a shake-up and support Duncan’s attempts to do that, for what is happening in Indian cricket is not Fletcher’s fault. Remember, they have lost two great players in Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, while the greatest of them all, Sachin Tendulkar, is not what he was.”

Hussain feels India desperately need a win in the last Test in Nagpur, beginning December 13, to redeem their battered reputation to some extent.

“That is the crux of the issue now for India. The last thing their cricket needs, really, is a win in Nagpur and a share of this series because all that would do is paper over the cracks.

“India left Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh out of their squad for the final Test but it is attitudes as much as personnel that need to change,” he said.