gautam gambhir
Gautam Gambhir (AFP Photo)

During his international career, Gautam Gambhir played under several captains including Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli.

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Even though he played only five Tests under Kumble’s captaincy but Gambhir has no doubts whatsoever that the legendary spinner was the best of the lots from whom he learned a lot during his India career.

Gambhir recently announced his retirement from international cricket bringing an end to an illustrious career during which he won the 2007 ICC WorldT20 and 2011 ICC World Cup.

“There is a difference between being a captain and a leader,” Gambhir told India Today. “I have played under lots and lots of captains in my career. I have been asked which is the best captain I have played under and I have always said that the captain is as good as his team. Today I can say that I have played under a lot of captains, but there was only one leader and that was Anil Kumble. I think I have learned so much from him.”

Gambhir credited Kumble for teaching him several aspects of leadership. During his own captaincy, Gambhir led India to a bilateral ODI series win against New Zealand and he also led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles after being appointed as their skipper.

“I have played only five Tests under him. I have learned a lot of my leadership skills from him. The way he was selfless and the way he was passionate … the way he was honest about his own cricket. I think I can say after I have retired that he was the best leader that I played under,” he said.

He continued, “I don’t like talking too highly of myself, but one thing that I feel when I look back at my career, I can say that I have been honest to my profession and I have been very selfless as well. That is probably the most important thing about a leader and I think that I had both those things. Whenever I captained KKR, I have been absolutely dead honest and been very selfless as well and that is what leaders are.”