A team is as good as the captain, says Nasser Hussain

Former England captain Nasser Hussain feels a good captain will always bring out the best from his players and make them perform beyond their potential AFP

By CricketCountry Staff

Chennai: Oct 5, 2011

Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes leader of a team is as good as the team and a captain should be a friend to the players to understand their insecurities.In an interview to TV commentator Harsha Bhogle, Nassir Hussain shared his ideas of role of captain and the challenges he confronts while leading a national team.

Hussain believes the best way to deal with the undisciplined players in the team is to give them additional responsibilities rather than keeping them out of the team.

He was quoted in The Hindu as saying, “The way I would handle it is I would bring him into the team, rather than have him on the outside. I would perhaps make him vice-captain. If you put the ball in someone’s court and give them responsibility they tend to react positively.

“I always made (Graham) Thorpe in charge of the rules! If anyone asked me what time we were leaving for the stadium, I would point to Thorpe and say, ask him!”

Hussain who is credited with turning around the English cricket team, which was languishing at the bottom of the table when he took over after the 1999 World Cup, shared his experiences with the England team. He spoke of how he had to blend the experience and the youth in his team, and how he brought the best out of the young talented cricketers like Andrew Flintoff, Mathew Hoggard.

But the former captain believes that a captain does not possess any magic wand which will turn the fortunes of a team and that the team is only as good as the captain. But, he adds that a good captain will always bring out the best from his players and make them perform beyond their potential.

Hussain also shared England s tour to India which saw them lose Test series 1-0. Hussain said on that tour he had asked his team mates to gel with locals to get used to the frantic environment in Indian stadiums.

“It prepared us better to go out in front of 60,000 fans at Kolkata than if we were just staying in the hotel and hopping on to the bus to the stadiums,” he said.

Hussain made an interesting point during his conversation with Bhogle. He said the reason why above average cricketers did not make great captains as they could not relate to the insecurities of He also added that for a captain to gel with his players he should be friends with them than authoritative.

He said, “It is important for the captain to be friends with his players and let them know that he’s one of them, but the captain should also know where to draw the line. At the end of the day the captain is the leader and it pays to be a bit stand-offish. Though there’s nothing like honesty and trust to make players believe in you, emphasised the cricketer.”

Hussain also feels that though cricket is a team game, it is important to have good competition within a team.

“Cricket is quite an individual game and I quite like that. It’s important not to quash individuality. I like competitiveness within a team, looking at someone else’s stats, and pushing you to do better.

“What you want to quash is selfishness. You need to make a player feel secure for that. Stuart Broad is an example,” concluded Hussain.