Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir made a surprising choice while picking India’s best captain ever, as he chose Anil Kumble over other successful Indian captains like MS Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly. Gambhir is known for his straightforward attitude, which doesn’t always bode well with the fans and other cricketers. The former opener has given many controversial opinions before, but this one is by far the most contentious.
During an interview, Gambhir picked Anil Kumble as India’s best-ever captain over MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly, and Kapil Dev. The left-hander had previously said similar things on the Star Sports ‘Cricket Connected’ show in 2020 and has not been deterred from his opinion since.
In the rapid-fire round of the Bada Bharat Show with Vivek Bindra on his YouTube channel, Gambhir was responding to questions. Gambhir was tasked with selecting from among the greatest Indian team captains, including Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly, and Kapil Dev. However, he added an extra option and picked wrist spinner Anil Kumble. He also chose Yuvraj Singh as the most impactful player in Indian cricket history in all three formats.
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In the same interview, Gambhir gave another contentious opinion when he chose Yuvraj Singh as the best batsman India has ever seen over other legendary batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, and Sunil Gavaskar.
It is curious how Gambhir chose Kumble as the best captain when he had one of the worst records as the Indian captain. Kumble was handed over India’s Test captaincy duties in 2007 and went on to lead the team in 14 matches in the longest format, winning just three out of 14 and losing five, while six ended in a draw. The legspinner had the worst win percentage for any Indian captain since 1990 till date.
In 2014, Kumble himself said that he became the captain because there was no other suitable candidate. "I became captain after playing 17 years for India so probably I became captain by default because nobody else wanted it," Kumble said. The leg-spinner, who ended his career with 619 wickets in 132 Tests and 337 wickets in 271 ODIs during his illustrious 18-year career, also mentioned that it was a transition period for Indian cricket when he was at the helm of affairs.