Brushing off the controversial bowling tactics employed by the Chennai-born Hussain when England visited India in 2001, Tendulkar said his ploys were within the rules of the game.
"Whatever he did was within the regulations of the game - there was no stage where he broke any laws. He was a great tactician," Tendulkar told BBC Radio.
"He was one of the best captains that I've played against and a tough character. I'm sure people in England and all over the world are going to miss a character like that," he said.
Tendulkar is the latest among a host of rival cricketers to pay tribute after Hussain called an end to his 96-Test career last week.
Former South Africa paceman Allan Donald compared Hussain to former Aussie skipper Steve Waugh. "He was one of those guys who fancied being in very tough situations, similar to Steve Waugh," he said.
"Hussain was a tough opponent who never backed down from a challenge".Donald, who dismissed Hussain five times in Tests, sympathised with the 36-year-old for having drawn the curtains on his own illustrious career.
"I must say it's a bit of a shock. I thought he was going to finish the series against New Zealand and the West Indies and finish on a high at the end of the summer," said Donald.
"The way he batted at Lords was typical of Hussain at his very best, and I think he's in really good form at the moment. But everybody comes to that crossroad. I've been there and maybe I didn't finish in such a great way for myself. But he probably wanted to be seen finishing on a high."
Hussain struck a hundred to help England register a seven-wicket victory in the first Test against New Zealand at Lord's before announcing his retirement.
Former West Indies captain Jimmy Adams praised Hussain but also questioned the timing of his retirement.
"I think it's strange he's retiring seeing as he's just scored a Test hundred," Adams said.
"There must be reasons outside cricket because his cricket looks to be pretty good at the minute. Only Nasser knows how he feels and it can't have been an easy decision considering his recent form. But what better way to leave Test cricket?
England are losing somebody in the here and now, somebody who is coming off a Test hundred, so it's something they can't take lightly," he told the channel.