Among all the captains he played against in his 24-year career, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar regarded former England skipper Nasser Hussain as the best. “Among the captains I played against, I consider Nasser Hussain the best.
He was an excellent strategist and even if some of his tactics occasionally bordered on the negative – using the left-arm spinner Ashley Giles to bowl to me outside my leg stump from over the wicket, for example – he was a very good thinker about the game and was proactive,” Tendulkar has written in his autobiography ‘Playing it My Way’.
Born in Chennai, Hussain played 96 Test matches and 88 One-Day Internationals (ODI) for England from 1989 to 2004. In that period he scored 5764 runs in Tests and 2332 runs in ODIs. He also smashed 15 international hundreds.
“Nasser would not place a fielder in a particular position after a shot was played. Rather, he had the ability to anticipate the shot and would place a fielder well in advance, making a real difference to his team,” wrote Tendulkar, who retired in 2013 after playing 200 Test matches.
Tendulkar also praised former Australian captain Michael Clarke, who led his side to the 2015 World Cup title, and rated him above greats like Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting.
“Among the Australians, I rate Michael Clarke as the best captain I played against. While I was too young to judge Allan Border in 1992, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting benefited from having some of the greatest players of our generation in their teams. With so many match-winners, the role of the captain is automatically reduced,” he wrote.
“Graeme Smith of South Africa is yet another player I have great regard for as skipper. Taking over the reins of the side at the age of 22 in the most tumultuous of conditions, Smith did brilliantly to propel South Africa to the top of the world Test rankings.”
Tendulkar played 200 Tests and 463 ODIs in an international career spanning from 1989 to 2013. He scored 34357 international runs with 100 centuries.