‘Would’ve given my life for him’: Gautam Gambhir narrates Australia series story to credit India legend
Gautam Gambhir, who made his debut under Ganguly but played the most under two-time World Cup winning captain MS Dhoni, said that he would not hesitate to give his life for Anil Kumble.
That former India opener Gautam Gambhir refers legendary India spinner Anil Kumble as the best captain he has played under, is not a secret anymore. Gambhir has made his feelings public multiple times recently but on Saturday, the left-hander properly explained the reasons behind his fondness for Kumble despite playing under Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli in international cricket.
Kumble, who picked 619 Test wickets and 337 ODI wickets - an Indian record in both formats - in his career, captained India for 14 Tests. Under him, India won three Tests, drew five and lost six. Kumble was also appointed as coach of the Indian Cricket Team in 2016 but was later replaced with Ravi Shastri after a fall out with captain Virat Kohli and a few senior cricketers in 2017.
Gambhir, who made his debut under Ganguly but played the most under two-time World Cup winning captain MS Dhoni, said that he would not hesitate to give his life for Kumble as he got the maximum assurance from him regarding his place in the team. The former left-handed batsman recalled an incident before the start of a four-match Test series against Australia in 2008.
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“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.
The former India opener went on to register a double hundred in that series. Gambhir credited Kumble’s faith in him as the reason for his success. He added that Kumble could have attained more captaincy records if he had captained India for more number of 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,” Gambhir, who has played only six Test matches under Kumble, said.
Gambhir further praised Kumble’s wicket-taking abilities and said that if there was DRS system back in his playing days, the Indian spinner could have finished with 900 wickets. “With DRS technology Kumble would have ended up with 900 wickets and Harbhajan Singh with 700 wickets. They missed lbw decisions on front-foot. Bhajju pa took 7 wickets in Cape Town, just imagine. If they would have played on rank-turners opposition would not have been able to make even 100 runs,” added Gambhir.