Anil Kumble breathed a sigh of relief on Saturday. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper looked crestfallen after his team’s semifinal defeat at the hands of the Mumbai Indians, but their victory against the Deccan Chargers and consequent qualification for the Champions League was some consolation.
Kumble, who says he still hasn’t gotten over the loss in last year’s IPL final, finally had a smile on his face. “It’s always nice to finish a tournament on a happy note. It also gives us an opportunity to again have a crack at the Champions League. But as a team we were not as consistent as we should have been. If we were maybe I wouldn’t have addressed the media today, it may have been tomorrow (after the final). It’s always nice to get a consolation victory but having said that it’s the IPL and we would have liked to play the final. That’s something which will remain as a disappointment,” Kumble said in the post-match media conference on Saturday.
Having retired from international cricket, the IPL is Kumble’s only playing field these days, and his passion for the game still shows, both on and off the field. “For me personally, since we have qualified for the Champions League it means I have another tournament to look forward to. Come September, I will be ready,” he said.
The RCB skipper lauded the individual performances of some of his team this year. “Robin (Uthappa) has taken his game one step forward and his contribution as a keeper has been very good. Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Vinay Kumar (have done well). The reason Vinay is in the Indian team is not just because of his domestic performance but also his showing in the IPL,” Kumble said.
The former India skipper also backed the seven-four ratio of domestic to foreign players in the IPL squads. “It is the ideal scenario. The seven-four ratio gives a lot of confidence to the Indian boys. In this year in particular, a lot of Indian players have performed exceptionally well for different franchises. Couple of them for us, too,” Kumble said.