Monday, 23 November 2009

Anil Kumble-Captaincy material never tapped

If you ever wondered whether cricket was still a gentleman's game,then one look at Anil Kumble and all your doubts will be allayed. The leader makes his presence felt on and off the field-the team can't help but take their skipper's lead. He managed to script a turnaround for RCB in the second edition of the Indian Premier League.
In his own way Anil Kumble (Read: Jumbo's 5-5 against Rajasthan Royals in IPL-2) has made a statement for elder statesmen in the shortest format of the game. He embodies the fact that playing aggressively does not necessarily mean shouting or creating a ruckus. Instead, his single-minded focus has helped him instill fear in the minds of the rivals.
Kumble first captured the public's imagination by sweeping up wickets with his leg spin. And then by coming out to bowl with a bandaged jaw in a Test match in St John's, Antigua. Apart from that, Kumble has many firsts to his credit if you leave out his wicket tally. He was the first Indian cricketer to quit one form of the game and the first-ever specialist Test captain.

He was appointed as the Test captain at the end of his career, when India was at a crossroads and Dhoni needed a mentor, for a home series against Pakistan. He went on to win the series, the first home triumph against Pakistan in 27 years, before playing a big role in holding the side together during the controversial series in Australia.But Kumble, always the fighter, tried to build the side into a fighting unit. When Kumble left the international stage, the decision was met with a collective `Why now?' rather than a `Why not?'' from cricket-lovers across the world.


Jumbo knew his time was up when his hand took time to recover, for him to play for long. He was given a grand send-off but returned to the world stage yet again, on the IPL platform, where his leadership was instrumental in getting RCB to the final in 2009 after a disappointing first season. And more recently, in CLT20, he proved once more that age has no correlation to success in the slam bang version of the game.

P.S. For the Top 9 bloggers of RCB FFC this topic might ring a bell. We were given this very topic to blog on, from the Press stand of M Chinnaswamy Stadium. grin