Sunil Gavaskar expressed his displeasure at Nasser Hussain's Daily Mail column, where he had suggested that previous Indian sides were bullied unlike Virat Kohli's men, and disagreed with the assertion. He also added that aggression doesn't necessarily mean to be in the face of the opposition.
The ongoing series between England and India has been full of fire and both sides haven't shied away from engaging in a war of words. The Lord's Test witnessed a lot of aggression from India with Virat Kohli constantly in the ears of the English players after Joe Root's men had rubbed the tourists the wrong way earlier, especially with India's lower-order in the middle.
In the aftermath of the Lord's Test, former England captain Nasser Hussain had opined that the present Virat Kohli-led Indian side wouldn't get bullied like the previous Indian sides. Sunil Gavaskar, who wasn't particularly impressed with Hussain's statement and ahead of the ongoing third Test, confronted the former English skipper on-air as to what was his thinking behind writing the piece.
“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?” Gavaskar asked Hussain during Sony's live broadcast.
Hussain responded by saying that the previous Indian sides might have budged in a heated situation like the second Test but not this Virat Kohli-led India.
“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.
However, Gavaskar disagreed with Hussain's opinion and stated that his generation didn't get bullied by anyone and aggression doesn't necessarily mean to be at the 'face of the opposition.'
"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,” Gavaskar said.
The heated discussion continued between the two and the former English skipper further cited that his opinion was more how about Kohli and his men are always ready to 'unleash fire' than anything else.
“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.”
The former Indian Test opener concluded by reiterating that previous Indian sides weren't bullied and asserted that suggesting something on those lines is wrong.
“There is no argument in that. The question is saying that the previous generations were bullied. I don’t think this is right,” Gavaskar concluded.
Meanwhile, in the ongoing third Test between England and India, the hosts and were reduced to 56-4 at the end of the first session.