When Sourav Ganguly put his captaincy on stake for Anil Kumble

Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble have played together for many years and share a great camaraderie. Both have played under each other’s captaincy and won many matches for India. Recently, Ganguly revealed an old incident where he almost risked his captaincy in order to stand by his champion bowler. While addressing an event on ‘Transforming setbacks into comebacks’ during INFOCOM 2015, the 14th edition of the annual Information and Communication Technology conference, Ganguly revealed an incident on selection drama.

The incident was ahead of India’s tour of Australia in 2003-04, where they were to play a four match Test series.The selectors were keen on selecting Murali Kartik over Kumble because they felt that the latter doesn’t have a good record of taking wickets in overseas conditions. As reported by PTI, Ganguly told in the event, “The selectors were picking Kartik saying ‘Kumble doesn’t pick wickets outside India’. But I was hell bent and said I won’t go without Kumble as the meeting went on till 2’o clock in the night.” He further added, “Selectors told me if Kumble doesn’t take wickets and team doesn’t do well, ‘we’ll have a new captain’. We had the best ever Australian trip in the history. Kumble finished that season as the highest wicket taker on the ICC calendar.”

Kumble took 24 wickets in the series and also India retained Border-Gavaskar Trophy after levelling the series by 1-1, which they came very close to winning. Further Ganguly went on to continue praising Kumble and said, “He (Kumble) was a champion and was going through a phase when he was not taking wickets. That was a part of setbacks. That time you don’t ask him to leave but give him that extra yards. That’s how you create trust.”