Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir said former Test captain is one man for whom he’d be ready to “give my life for someone”.
Gautam Gambhir formed his best India XI, in which he named Anil Kumble as the leader of the side even though both MS Dhoni, Kapil Dev and Virat Kohli were in his team while Sourav Ganguly didn’t make the cut in Gambhir’s eleven.
Virat Kohli is India’s most successful Test captain while Dhoni is regarded as arguably the best leader of men on the cricket field and Ganguly is often given credit for reigniting India’s self-belief in the 2000s. Anil Kumble led India for a year in 2007-08, and India won only 3 Tests out of the 14 they played under the leg-spinner.
However, with the example of an interesting incident, Gautam Gambhir highlights why he’d want Kumble as his skipper more than anyone else.
“Sehwag and I were having dinner when Kumble walked in and said that you guys will open throughout the series no matter what. Even if you get 8 ducks it doesn’t matter. I have never heard such words from anyone in my career. So, if I have to give my life for someone, it would be Anil Kumble. Those words are still in my heart,” Gambhir told SportsTak last year.
Gautam Gambhir believes that had Kumble captained for longer period as Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, then India would have won many more matches.
“Had he captained India for a longer duration like Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni or Virat Kohli, he would have made many records. He captained in tough series’ in Australia and Sri Lanka,” Gautam Gambhir added.
Speaking about his XI, Gambhir has Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, two of India’s greatest openers, at the top, followed by unsurprisingly the pair of Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar at number 3 and number 4 respectively. Kohli is positioned at number 5 in Gambhir’s line-up.
India’s greatest-ever all-rounder Kapil Dev is the sole all-rounder in Gambhir’s team, followed by MS Dhoni as the wicket-keeper.
In the bowling department, the former KKR skipper went with India’s best four-man attack in the 2000s: Harbhajan and Kumble, the spinners to partner Zaheer and Srinath.
Gautam Gambhir picks his all-time India XI:
Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Kapil Dev, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble (c), Zaheer Khan, Javagal Srinath.