England v India: Nasser Hussain recalls 2002 NatWest Series Final cracker at Lord's
Sky Cricket commentator talks match-winner Mohammad Kaif and a frustrating ball change...
Last Updated: 19/07/14 1:41pm
Nasser Hussain is currently commentating on an absorbing second Test at Lord’s.
But the Sky Cricket expert allowed his mind to wander back 12 years to the gripping NatWest Series Final defeat to India when he joined Ian Ward for Saturday’s Cricket Extra.
At the Home of Cricket on July 13, 2002, India recovered from 146-5 to overhaul England’s tally of 325, primarily due to a 121-run partnership for the sixth wicket between Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh.
However, that was just part of the drama on a memorable summer’s day, with India captain Sourav Ganguly waving his jersey around his head in the wake of his country’s triumph and England centurion Hussain hitting back at those who questioned whether he was cut out to bat at three.
Here are Nasser’s memories of an unforgettable few hours…
How his words to Kaif came back to haunt him…
NASS SAYS: We had India 140-odd for five and had got four reasonable players out in Virender Sehwag, Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid! Kaif came out and as he walked past me I said: ‘Come on guys, they’ve sent the bus driver in, we’ve got a chance here!’. When he smashed the last ball for four and finished on 87, he walked past me and said: ‘Not bad for a bus driver’. It was a pretty good comeback! He and Yuvraj Singh (69) were excellent but Sourav, who barely gets a mention but for the shirt waving, smashed 60 off 43 deliveries and got India about 100-1 of 12 overs, which set them up perfectly.
How umpire Steve Bucknor derailed his plans…
NASS SAYS: Two words: Steve and Bucknor. We had India 160-5 and had this ball that was reversing beautifully after 33 overs. I also had my reverse swing bowlers in Darren Gough and Andrew Flintoff up my sleeve, but Bucknor looked at the ball and said: ‘No, that’s too old and the wrong colour’. He gave us a rock-hard ball and they smashed it all over the place, but at no point in that game and on that pitch did I think we had the match won. India were always in with a chance.
I think Duncan Fletcher thought I had stuck two fingers up!
Nass on celebrating his century
How he silenced his critics and frightened Duncan Fletcher…
NASS SAYS: I had been listening to Ian Botham and Bob Willis on the TV and Jonathan Agnew on the radio and if I’d heard that I wasn’t the right man to be batting at three in ODIs for England, I’d heard it a million times. They were probably right but I said to myself that if I get to 100, I’m going to stick three fingers up to the commentary box to prove a point. When I did it I think Duncan Fletcher thought I had stuck two fingers up and that might have been the end of my captaincy career!
To hear more from Nasser, plus Ganguly’s thoughts on the 2002 NatWest Series Final, hit the video at the top of the screen.