LONDON: Former England captain Nasser Hussain feels it was "best" for India that Sachin Tendulkar missed out on his 100th hundred in international cricket at The Oval as it would have diverted attention from the team’s "abysmal" show in the four-match series against England.
Tendulkar was dismissed Monday for 91 on the fifth day of the fourth Test which India eventually lost by an innings and eight runs to suffer a 0-4 series whitewash.
Hussain, who commentated during the series, says had the master blaster reached the magical figure, it would have also taken the gloss off the Rahul Dravid’s performance in the series in which he scored three hundreds.
"As someone who has played against him, knows him a bit and respects him so much, I thought this would be a fitting stage and the perfect occasion for him to get there," wrote Hussain in the Daily Mail Tuesday.
"There was a sell-out crowd here with a large Indian support and it also seemed right that the piece of history should come in a big Test match rather than a one-day game.
"I was also hoping I would be able to commentate on the big moment. But now I think it is best for India that he got out when he did.
"If the piece of history had come now, the whole of India would have been celebrating and the partying could have gone on for days. And that would have papered over the cracks in Indian cricket and overshadowed all that Rahul Dravid has achieved this last month."
"Nothing should be allowed to obscure how bad India, with the exception of Dravid, have been. Nothing should get in the way of the fact they have been absolutely abysmal."
Hussain reckons that India were one of the poorest team to have toured England since he retired and sees the hosts winning the five-match One-day series starting Sep 3.
"They are without doubt one of the poorest teams I can remember touring England, either as a player or since I retired. The gulf between India and Andrew Strauss’s team has been massive.
"Sachin will get to that 100th hundred, don’t worry about that. Maybe even in the
One-day series next week. How India could do with a lift because, looking at their squad for those five matches, I think England will be more than capable of being stronger than them again, particularly in the field." (IANS)