New Delhi: While Sachin Tendulkar has had the pleasure of playing under some of the finest Indian captains ever including Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni, when it comes to naming the best opposition captain, the Master Blaster had a clear choice in former England skipper Nasser Hussain.
"Among the captains I played against, I consider Nasser Hussain the best. He was an excellent strategist and even if some of his tactics occasionally bordered on the negative - using the left-arm spinner Ashley Giles to bowl to me outside my leg stump from over the wicket, for example - he was a very good thinker about the game and was proactive," ready Tendulkar's autobiography 'Playing it My Way'.
"Nasser would not place a fielder in a particular position after a shot was played. Rather, he had the ability to anticipate the shot and would place a fielder well in advance, making a real difference to his team," wrote Tendulkar in his book.
Not many are aware of the fact that Nasser was born in Chennai and went on to play 96 Test matches and 88 One-Day Internationals (ODI) for England from 1989 to 2004. En route to 5764 runs in Tests and 2332 runs in ODIs, he scored a total o f 15 international hundreds.
While many would consider Steve Waugh or Ricky Ponting as their top choices for best Aussie captain ever, Tendulkar instead went on to give the honour to Michael Clarke, who led his side to the 2015 World Cup title.
"Among the Australians, I rate Michael Clarke as the best captain I played against. While I was too young to judge Allan Border in 1992, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting benefited from having some of the greatest players of our generation in their teams. With so many match-winners, the role of the captain is automatically reduced," he wrote.
Graeme Smith was the next great captian in Sachin's list.
"Graeme Smith of South Africa is yet another player I have great regard for as skipper. Taking over the reins of the side at the age of 22 in the most tumultuous of conditions, Smith did brilliantly to propel South Africa to the top of the world Test rankings."
Sachin, who is widely regarded as the greatest batsman of his generation, if often lauded for his contribution to the game of cricket not just by the great leaders he spoke about, but the who's who of the cricketing universe.
In his career spanning 200 Tests and 463 ODIs, he scored 34357 international runs with 100 centuries.