It's not a personal battle, says Kumble

It's not a personal battle, says Kumble

Key man: Royal Challengers’ skipper Anil Kumble will look for a winning start to his team’s campaign. DH photo

But it’s those subtle rivalries and sub texts make sports compelling to watch, and the Sunday’s match will be no exception. It will be the first time in Indian Premier League, Kumble and Ganguly face each other with them firmly holding the reins of their respective teams.

In the first season Rahul Dravid was RCB skipper when Ganguly did the corresponding duty at Kolkata and when Kumble assumed charge of the Bangalore outfit during the IPL II, the Prince of Kolkata was languishing largely due to coach John Buchannan’s multiple captain theory.

Both Ganguly and Kumble are natural leaders of men, and love to lead from the front in times of crisis. Wounds that match-fixing scandal inflicted were still fresh and deep when Ganguly accepted captaincy of Indian team at the turn of this millennium, but how marvelously the he healed the damaging lesions and turned the Indians into world beaters, paving the way for India’s climb to the top spot in ICC rankings.

In the IPL III opener against defending champions Deccan Chargers, the Kolkatan showed none of his leadership qualities are waned. The old, familiar ‘Bengal Tiger’ resurfaced in emphatic fashion, marshalling his troops with passion, emotion and enthusiasm.

Kumble too agreed to that point. “I respect Sourav as a leader. He has exceptional qualities to bring the men together and get the results,” he said.
Having said that; the Bangalorean too is blessed with similar traits. Rewind your memory to those cantankerous days in Sydney two years ago when he held together the team with aplomb in the eye of a storm after the ‘Monkey Gate’ episode.|

The only jarring point could be the lack of match practice for both these retired men.
“It all boils down to an individual’s mindset, his desire to excel. Yes, I agree that lack of match practice, sometimes, can make a player to take a bit extra time to regain his touch. But in my case I have been training regularly for the last few months and I am eager to put myself into the matches. I am also happy to start the season as captain,” he said.

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