Veteran India spinner and former coach Anil Kumble has recently opened up on many things. He spoke about monkey gate scandal to India’s controversial tour of Australia in 2007-08 in the ‘DRS with Ash’ YouTube show recently.
He said, “You know as a captain you’re generally tuned to take decisions on the field. Here I was faced with something, which was off the field, to take a decision in the larger interest of the game. And one of our players [Harbhajan Singh] was obviously banned for three matches because of a racist remark – that was what the pronouncement was and we appealed. I felt he was wronged.”
“We had to obviously be together as a team but the challenge was that there was a lot of talk about the team wanting to come back at that point in time, and leave the tour and come back. Yes, you know, probably [people] would have accepted that the Indian team was wronged and that’s why they came back,” he added.
However, he said that India went there to win the series but the first two results didn’t go their way. But he said that he was fortunate enough to have senior players, former captains, in the squad.
“I think you need to have clarity of thought when you are encountered with such situations and I had extreme clarity that no matter what if I win the toss I’m going to bat first because that’s the best way of winning the Test match. The only thought to me was how can I win this Test match, what’s the best way of putting pressure?,” he recalled.
He again added, “In fact, when I went out to toss, just a few minutes before… there are a lot of former cricketers as commentators hanging around near the pitch, and some of them said it’s a field-first pitch. So I said, “okay, that’s your way of thinking, but I’m going to bat first no matter what”. So we batted first.”
For India, Rahul Dravid batted quite well and Irfan Pathan was in his peak in that Test match. RP Singh too did well with the ball. And then Virender Sehwag provided with a couple of breakthroughs in the second innings helped the team to beat Australia as well.