A combination of events does Hussain in

Written by: Mamatha Maben
Published: Tuesday, July 29, 2003, 17:51 [IST]
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Bangalore: I returned home this morning from training and casually switched on the TV for my daily dose of news and was stunned, to say the least, when the news channel flashed 'Hussain quits as England captain'. I could not fathom his decision as I thought England had done reasonably well to secure a draw after the visitors had posted a mammoth total - in spite of the rain chipping in. To expect to throw in the towel was least expected; in fact just does not fit the bill - Hussain is showcased as somebody who frisked England out of a defeatist attitude; somebody who came across as a 'born leader'; a man with steely resolve; somebody who saw the opponents in the eye and one who never was cowed down by the media.

How then could he have done a roundabout and turned his back on a challenge he recently mentioned as something he is going to relish?

Well, I have a feeling that things must have been brewing for quite a while now and his failure in the first innings must have be the incident that uncorked his resignation.

For the past few months - ever since England's early exit from the World Cup - pressure had been piling on Hussain. People back home have been baying for his blood. The press too had not painted their captain in desired light and added to that Michael Vaughan's success as ODI captain had sure enough stepped up the tension.

It probably took a combination of events in the first Test for Hussain to walk away in this fashion - first his failure with the bat; second Vaughan's scintillating form and third Smith's record-breaking feat which may have been his most embarrassing moment. For I doubt Hussain would have quit if both Vaughan & Smith would have failed; irrespective of the match result.

Vaughan & Smith's success in the light of his failure and the thought of standing up to the people gunning for his head must have been the last straw that broke Hussain's back.

However, it is easy to suggest that a man of Hussain's toughness did shy away from responsibility and ended up throwing in the towel. Only when you put yourself in the man's shoes will you, probably, begin to understand the kind of pressure that weighed on the man's shoulder.

I haven't dwelt much on heaping praises that is due to Hussain, for there are too many out there that already say enough.

However, although, I do not entirely agree with Hussain's nature of exit, I, for one, admire the man for the way in which he muscled England out of what seemed an eternal downslide and put his team on a firm-footing to take on the world from.

May his tribe increase.


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