'I'm offering peace on Hussain's behalf': Atherton tells Gavaskar. India legend replies
- Former England captain Mike Atherton, who is one of Hussain’s very good friends, came on the pre-match show on Sony Sports Network on Thursday and offered ‘peace on Hussain’s behalf' to Gavaskar.
The Sunil Gavaskar and Nasser Hussain banter saw a new chapter before the start of play on Day 2 in the third India-England third Test at Headingley in Leeds without the latter even being present. Former England captain Mike Atherton, who is one of Hussain’s very good friends, came on the pre-match show on Sony Sports Network on Thursday and offered ‘peace on Hussain’s behalf' to Gavaskar.
“I have come to offer peace from Nasser Hussain's behalf after what happened yesterday,” Atherton said towards the end of his discussion with a smile.
Gavaskar, who was present along with Ajit Agarkar and presenter Harsha Bhogle, laughed and then went on to add that he still stands by what he had said to Hussain hours before this Test began.
“I never took a backward step so I’m not gonna do that even now. This should be pretty much known to those who know me by now,” Gavaskar said.
Gavaskar and Hussain had an on-air debate over a column that Hussain wrote for Daily Mail in which he said that Indian teams of the past weren't as tough as this unit, which is leading England 1-0 in the ongoing series.
"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, also a former India captain, asked Hussain on air.
Hussain, a respected voice in world cricket, tried to explain what he meant in his column, which wasn't very different from what Gavaskar had assumed.
"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 (Rahane) really went hard at the Australians. I just don't think you want to wake this Indian side up," Hussain replied.
Gavaskar dismissed Hussain's claims with some data.
"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.
"(In) 1974, we had internal problems so we lost 3-0. (In) 1979, we lost 1-0, it could have been 1-1 if we chased down 438 at the Oval (match ended with India stranded at 429 for 8).
"(In) 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," he said.