'Kept begging him not to do that. Even today...': Anil Kumble reopens old RCB wound in painful IPL 2009 final revelation | Crickit
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'Kept begging him not to do that. Even today...': Anil Kumble reopens old RCB wound in painful IPL 2009 final revelation

Apr 25, 2024 08:25 AM IST

Anil Kumble was captain when RCB reached the final of the second edition of the IPL.

Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) have endured a forgettable season thus far in the 2024 Indian Premier League. They have lost their last five matches in a row and thus far have just one victory in eight matches. RCB are thus rock bottom in the league table with their chances of making it to the top four already fading. That would mean yet another year in which RCB, despite being one of the best supported teams in the league, possibly missing out on the IPL title.

Anil Kumble was RCB's icon player in the early days of the IPL. (AFP)
Anil Kumble was RCB's icon player in the early days of the IPL. (AFP)

Among the teams that have been around since the first edition of the IPL in 2008, only RCB and Punjab Kings are yet to win the title. And yet, it all just as easily could have been quite different very early in the history of the IPL for the team from Bengaluru. RCB have managed to reach the final of the IPL three times, with the last of those coming in 2016. The first of those came in 2009, just the second season of the league and the only one that was played in South Africa.

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India spin great Anil Kumble was captain of the side in the final, where they played the now-defunct Deccan Chargers, led by former Australia wicketkeeper-batter Adam Gilchrist. A 20-year-old Virat Kohli, who would go on to captain RCB between 2013 and 2021, was playing at No.6 for RCB while Deccan Chargers featured a fresh-faced Rohit Sharma, the joint-most successful IPL captain of all-time, at No.5. The Chargers batted first and were restricted to a score of 143/6. It was a masterclass from Kumble, who finished with sensational figures of 4/16. However, the Chargers turned the screws on RCB and Kumble told Ravichandran Ashwin in a chat on Youtube that he still feels that they missed an opportunity to win the title.

‘A missed opportunity’

“(I remember) lots of things (from the game). All the missed chances that we had, a couple of chances went abegging, wides, no balls,” says Kumble in the video. “PK (Praveen Kumar) bowled five wides, sort of cost us the game. I know even then 143 should have been chased down.”

It came down to RCB needing 15 runs to win off the last over. Kumble was on strike and RP Singh was bowling with Robin Uthappa at the other end. Kumble was facing his first ball of the match and he managed to get off strike. However, Uthappa then simply could not connect and ended up taking two dot balls. “Whenever I see Robin Uthappa even now, I say Robs, that six. You should have hit that six. At least you should have given me the strike. I kept begging him to not look to scoop. RP was bowling that last over and the first ball Robs looks to scoop,” said Kumble.

“I said Robs he is not going to let you scoop, look to slog, he is going to bowl length. Again third ball he tries to scoop, I said Robs, enough! Give me the strike I'll look to slog and maybe something can happen but eventually we lost by six runs. Whenever I see Robs I say, that six,” he said much to Ashwin's amusement.

"You are a cruel man Anil bhai," said Ashwin between fits of laughter. "I am, only in this regard because you remember that. And since RCB hasn't won since then you look back and think that we missed an opportunity there," said Kumble.

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