Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'm Not Finished Yet

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'm Not Finished Yet

Article excerpt

Hussain hits back at critics and vows to set a captaincy record By David Lloyd NASSER HUSSAIN is not quite dividing the nation.

But when he steps out at Lord's on Thursday to confront Zimbabwe he should have an inkling of what Steve Waugh has endured these past few months.

England's captain was an interested and, most likely, baffled bystander during the winter as the debate over whether Waugh ought to stay as Australia's Test skipper reached boiling point.

Former colleagues had their say, newspapers devoted page after page to the story and, finally, the man himself declined to budge.

Now, of course, Australia have won yet another series and Waugh hit his 30th Test century during the 3-1 defeat of West Indies.

Waugh's achievements are so great he is a special case. But, in his own way, Hussain sparked an even hotter discussion here by listing a few ambitions when some think England should have appointed one man - Michael Vaughan - for two jobs.

Hussain resigned as one-day skipper in March, to be replaced by Vaughan, immediately after another early World Cup exit. He would have been pushed, in all probability, had he not jumped because his record was not worthy of him retaining his place.

That was the argument used against Waugh - until he scored a wonderful hundred against England in Sydney in January.

But when it comes to Hussain's recent Test record, there is precious little scope for faultfinding.

Ironically, Hussain's stock as captain has never been higher than it was during the winter of 2000-01 when England beat both Pakistan and Sri Lanka on foreign soil.

Yet, the Essex man almost went an entire year without scoring a first-class fifty and his hundred against Sri Lanka in Kandy was his first three-figure Test score in 22 innings. Now, when Hussain's utterances off the field and performance as skipper on it are being examined more closely than ever, his Test game is in top order. …

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