The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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I faced a dilemma similar to Sourav’s: Hussain
- While the former England captain is generous in praising Sourav, the BCCI chief has mixed views

Mumbai: Former England skipper Nasser Hussain said on Monday he had faced problems similar to Sourav Ganguly, who was asked to step down from captaincy due to his poor form with the bat by national coach Greg Chappell in Zimbabwe, leading to a major controversy in Indian cricket.

“Sourav was an excellent captain when I played against him (as England captain in 2002-03 in India). I too have had differences with (current England coach) Duncan Fletcher due to lack of runs. But we used to present a united front to the media,” Hussain said at the Cricket Club of India (CCI).

Hussain, on a private visit to India and in Mumbai after holidaying in Goa, echoed other cricketers’ feelings that dressing room discussions should remain private and within the confines of the dressing room.

“Things discussed in the dressing room should remain there only. I feel that a captain’s value to the team is huge. All the players look up to the captain (for guidance). Captains like Mike Brearley (England), Steve Waugh (Australia) and Sourav are allrounders (their contributions not confined only to making runs),” he said.

Sourav had revealed to mediapersons after scoring a century in the first Test against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo that he had been asked to step down from captaincy before its commencement.

But Hussain added that Sourav also needed to score runs so that he could talk to his players on an equal basis. “Then only he can question any player not scoring runs on his face,” Hussain said.

But Hussain also wondered whether the recent happenings in Indian cricket would have left Sourav unscathed, from his own personal experience when his team was struggling and his form was patchy.

“After all this battle, I don’t know whether Sourav has got the mental energy to get India to the No. 1 position which they deserve to reach.

“I know no reason why India cannot get to the top. They have a fine batting line-up comprising (Virender) Sehwag, (Rahul) Dravid, Sachin (Tendulkar), Sourav and (V.V.S.) Laxman, two world class spinners in (Anil) Kumble and Harbhajan Singh and two or three fine left-arm pacers,” Hussain remarked.

“The current England team under Vaughan is totally different from the one I led here. Now they are more aggressive whereas when we came here last our policy was to wait till we got a chance (to pounce on the opposition).”

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