Former India pacer RP Singh has revealed that legendary leg-spinner Anil Kumble was the best captain he played under as he himself was a bowler and understood the psyche of other bowlers.
The T20 World-Cup winning cricketer was in conversation with former opener Aakash Chopra when he he talked about the different captains he played under. RP Singh explained in detail about the modus-operandi of former captains Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and MS Dhoni.
He said MS Dhoni would make changes in the bowling even if a bowler was in a good rhythm but on the contrary Rahul Dravid, watching a bowler on song, would persist with him for many overs.
RP Singh, the former left-arm pacer, who scalped 40 wickets in his 14-Test matches long career said that Anil Kumble would ask him to postpone his thoughts and continue with the same deliveries for few overs.
“Anil Kumble was himself a bowler and so he was the best captain of my life. I played only few matches under him but the he knew the psyche of the bowler. I said ‘I will bowl in-swing then he would say no continue bowling out-swing and postpone your thoughts’. Rahul Dravid would not do that. He was a bowler and he knew better about frustrating a bowler,” RP Singh said.
RP Singh debuted under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly in an ODI match against Zimbabwe in 2005. Remembering the match, Singh said that he bowled a few wides in the first over but that did not irk Ganguly.
“Every captain has his own way. Sourav Ganguly gave me the ball and just told me to go and ball. First ball wide, second ball wide but he said it happens with everyone. So he was captain who would support and say ‘ no worries I will make us win’,” RP Singh recalled.
The UP-born former pacer heaped rich praises on Rahul Dravid, “a technical master, who knew how to run the game’.
“Rahul Dravid was technically a very smart player, he would read the game and decided what to do. In the England series I asked to bowl from round the wicket but he should bowl a bit from over the wicket. I looked up to him after few overs and asked again and then he asked if the ball is swinging and even asked MS Dhoni. He allowed me to bowl round the wicket after that. Setting up the field in different ways, he was a technical master, he knew how to run the game,” RP Singh said.
RP Singh, retired from cricket in 2018 but he played his last match in 2011 under the captaincy of his “friend” MS Dhoni. RP Singh stated that he hasn’t seen a captain who reads the game better than Dhoni.
“We haven’t seen anyone reading the the game better than MS Dhoni. When to drag a situation, change it, leave it or how to carry on game from a situation, I haven’t seen anyone better than him in my playing career. He was a player who would read the situation differently,” RP Singh stated.
Cricketer-turned-commentator RP Singh summed up by saying that all the captains were good and they did what they had to do according to the situation and players they had.