Bengaluru: Former England captain Nasser Hussain has opined that Sourav Ganguly transformed the Indian cricket team from being “nice” to “tough”.

Hussain, who is now a respected commentator, said this while talking to Cricbuzz website in an interview.

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“Before Sourav (Ganguly), India was a nice team, great players, Azhar (Mohammad Azharuddin), Javagal Srinath, they had some fantastic players, but before Sourav, they were a nice team. Very sort of 'good morning, how you doing', you know a bit like you Harsha (Bhogle) to be honest (light-hearted tone), very nice (and) pleasant. Ganguly made them a tough team. Waiting for the toss for Ganguly, it is half past 10, 10.31 in England, 'where is Ganguly'? Steve Waugh, me, everyone (light-hearted tone),” Hussain told well known cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle.

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Ganguly was appointed as the captain of the Indian team in 2000. He led the side in 49 Tests and 146 ODIs. Under his leadership, India began winning Tests overseas. He also took the team to the final of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. Now, Ganguly is the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The 52-year-old Hussain, who was born in Madras (now Chennai), talked about his favourite Indian cricketers captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.

“I mean there are a lot, (among Indians) two of them are very obvious. Virat Kohli, if there is a run chase on, wherever I'm in the world, I would be broadcasting somewhere else, West Indies or something, a word would come that India are chasing 300, and I will be looking Kohli 60 not out, Kohli 70 not out and it is almost like setting an alarm clock, Kohli 130, India win,” Hussain, who played 96 Tests and 88 ODIs, said.

“The other two, KL Rahul is just unbelievable, how easy he makes batting look, at times how far he can hit a ball with sort of minimal effort. And the other one for me is Rohit. I sent a tweet out when India were in South Africa, I think they left out Rohit, I said, "if Rohit isn't a Test match player, I'm watching a different game of cricket", because Rohit should be able to crack Test match cricket. And the way Rohit has gone recently, long may it continue,” he added.