Tendulkar`s century would have diverted attention: Hussain

London: Sachin Tendulkar`s 100th hundred in international cricket at The Oval would have been merely a consolation at the fag end of a series in which India were completely outplayed by the stronger English side, feels former England captain Nasser Hussain.

Tendulkar was given out leg before to England`s Tim Bresnan for 91 on the final day of the fourth Test on Monday which India lost by an innings and eight runs to suffer a 0-4 series whitewash.

"For most of Monday, I was dearly hoping that Sachin Tendulkar would score his 100th international hundred at The Oval. As someone who has played against him, knows him a bit and respects him so much, I thought this would be a fitting stage and the perfect occasion for him to get there.

There was a sell-out crowd here with a large Indian support and it also seemed right that the piece of history should come in a big Test match rather than a one-day game. I was also hoping I would be able to commentate on the big moment. But now I think it is best for India that he got out when he did," Hussain wrote in his column for a daily.

Hussain said Tendulkar`s century would have stolen the show from in-form Rahul Dravid, who has been India`s stand-alone performer in the series with three fighting centuries.

"If the piece of history had come now, the whole of India would have been celebrating and the partying could have gone on for days. And that would have papered over the cracks in Indian cricket and overshadowed all that Rahul Dravid has achieved this last month.

"Nothing should be allowed to obscure how bad India, with the exception of Dravid, have been. Nothing should get in the way of the fact they have been absolutely abysmal."

Hussain reckoned that India were without doubt one of the poorest teams to have toured England since he retired from the game.

"They are without doubt one of the poorest teams I can remember touring England, either as a player or since I retired. The gulf between India and Andrew Strauss`s team has been massive.

"This has been close to a perfect series for England. Their batting, bowling, fielding, preparation and fitness have been on a different planet to India`s. Strauss and Andy Flower could not ask for anything more, while MS Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher have an awful lot to think about after this drubbing."

Hussain exuded confidence that England will also win the five-match One-day series starting September 3.

"Sachin will get to that 100th hundred, don`t worry about that. Maybe even in the one day series next week. How India could do with a lift because, looking at their squad for those five matches, I think England will be more than capable of being stronger than them again, particularly in the field."


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