India batsman and former Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) batting mainstay Robin Uthappa picked the best captain he has played under and surprisingly it was neither Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly nor MS Dhoni. Uthappa played the majority of his international under these skippers but he picked his KKR captain Gautam Gambhir as the best leader he has played under. He also heaped rich praise on Rohit Sharma, saying the Mumbai Indians captain is a good leader and that it shows with the way he interacts with his players.

Under Gambhir, KKR ended their long wait for an IPL title in 2012 by beating MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings in the final. “Gauti, for me, stood out. Even though he doesn’t speak much, he communicates just what is enough, and you know that you’re in a good place. Good leaders make you feel secure, then they let you be, and you see that in their results as a captain,” Uthappa spoke on ESPNcricinfo’s new show called ‘One on One #Workfromhome.

The 34-year-old Uthappa played a key role in KKR’s title-winning campaign in 2014. He scored 660 runs and topped the batting charts as KKR clinched their second title, beating Kings XI Punjab in the final.

Uthappa also acknowledged visible leadership qualities in Rohit Sharma. “With the way he interacts with his players, you can tell that he is a leader”, he said.

The Kodagu-born Uthappa, who generally prefers coming up the order, has been preparing for the role of a finisher to fit in the scheme of things in the national side. “What we need today is a good finisher. I have been practicing a lot because these things are like a process; they don’t just happen overnight. You need to work on it every day. And God willing, it will happen at some point,” he said.

Looking to Spend Time With Rajasthan Teammates

KKR parted ways with Uthappa after the top-order batsman endured an ordinary season with the bat in IPL 2019. He was bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 3 crore at December’s IPL player auction.

Uthappa also said he is looking forward to working with the likes of Steve Smith at his new franchise if and when the IPL gets underway after the COVID-19 crisis.

“I am genuinely looking forward to meeting and spending time with Steve Smith, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Oshane Thomas, Tom Curran and others because its only when guys come together and set the common goal of wanting to win, and that desire is vehemently expressed, you know that it is going to come through,” Uthappa said.