Cliche that it was a team decision untrue, says Anil Kumble

Kumble delivered 7th Dilip Sardesai lecture, talked about 'Monkeygate' scandal

Mumbai: Former India captain Anil Kumble on Saturday made light of the cliche 'its a team decision' and said decision making always lies with the captain. "Ultimately it's a captain who decides. He might take the advice of a player or might lean towards one or two. In the end it’s his responsibility," Kumble said while delivering the 7th Dilip Sardesai Memorial lecture at the Cricket Club of India here.

"The two clinches in the game are untrue and unnecessary. First it was a team decision. There is no thing, there is a team suggestion, even a team proposal but it’s always a captain's decision," he added.

To prove his point, Kumble, who led India in Tests, gave example of Sourav Ganguly's decision to bat first in the India vs England Test in Headingly in 2002, which India eventually won.

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"The second cliche is a captain is only as good as a team. I feel the reverse is true, the team is only as good as its captain. Very good teams have been undone by mediocre captaincy. But a good example of the latter is current New Zealand team led by Brendon McCullum," the 44-year-old said.

On the issue of different captains for different formats, Kumble said he does not see it as an issue.

On the infamous 'Monkeygate' controversy involving Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds, he said he did his job as a skipper.

"As I discovered in Australia during the ‘Monkeygate’ controversy, I was now a diplomat, a bridge between players and the cricket board and the face of Indian opposition in Australia," he said.

"I was sitting in the dressing room when the incident happened and it was 100 meters away. No conversation (between him and Kumble) was whatever was said but I think it was important to understand how we started moving ahead as a team. The general perception was we came back.

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It was important to me to convince the players and Bhajji in particular, who was affected by the things that were happening. The players stood by me, so all these players (Sachin, Sourav, Rahul, Laxman, Sehwag) being there helped.

As a captain, my duty was to protect my players that's what I did, I think it could have been resolved with the two captains," he pointed out.

When asked how much say a captain has in selection, he said to be fair when he was captain he did not have a problem.

"I went for a meeting during a selection meeting in 2007 when they chose the team for Australia. I don’t think they (selectors) had Virender Sehwag in mind. I proposed Viru to be part of the team and they selected him. I wanted Viru in team. I suggested his name although his form was not good but the selectors took it. It’s all having proper dialog," he said.

( Source : PTI )
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