File Pic: Sourav Ganguly, left, and Nasser Hussain (Getty Images)
NEW DELHI: Recalling the 2002 Natwest finals against India, former England skipper Nasser Hussain praised Sourav Ganguly and said that ‘Dada’ made Indian cricket tough.
Hussain was speaking at an interaction with Ian Bishop and Elma Smit as part of the ICC podcast titled ‘Cricket Inside Out’ and it was then that the former England captain was asked to talk about the Natwest finals in 2002.
“The Natwest final against India is my most favourite and least favourite game I have ever played in. It is one of the great ODI games that we had in that generation. India had not made it to the finals for a long time and it was looking like they would lose the finals,” Hussain said during the podcast.
“I enjoyed playing against Ganguly. I have always said, Ganguly made Indian cricket tough, before Sourav they were just a nice bunch to play with, Sourav made them into a tough and determined side. When he took his shirt off in the finals, it was a trademark, Ganguly. I am a massive fan of him,” he added.
In the Natwest final, India was given a target of 326 to win the match. India was struggling at 146/5 when both Yuvraj and Kaif got together at the crease.
The duo put on a partnership of 121 runs to give India a glimmer of hope in the match.
Yuvraj was dismissed for 69 runs, but Kaif batted well, with tailenders, to give India a win in the final over by two wickets and with three balls to spare.
After the win, then skipper Ganguly took off his shirt and celebrated from the Lord’s dressing room.
During England’s innings, Hussain also scored a century, playing a knock of 115 runs.
Over the years, Ganguly went on to become one of the most successful Indian skippers. Under his leadership, India defeated Pakistan in Pakistan for the first time in a Test series.
He also guided India to the finals of the 2003 Cricket World Cup. Ganguly played 113 Tests and 311 ODIs. The swashbuckling left-handed batsman scored 18,575 runs across all formats in his international career.
In October 2019, Ganguly became the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).