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Indian team continued playing after the controversial Sydney Test to set an example, reveals Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble famously said, "Only one team played in the spirit of the match"
Anil Kumble famously said, "Only one team played in the spirit of the match"
Abhinav Singh
Modified 01 Aug 2020

Former Indian cricket team captain Anil Kumble recently revealed that pulling out of the Australia series after the controversial Sydney Test in 2008 was on the table but he or the team didn't go ahead with it as they wanted to set an example.

While interacting with Ravichandran Ashwin on his YouTube show, 'DRS With Ash', the leg-spinner mentioned that as a captain, he was faced to take a major decision - whether to stay in Australia or come back home.

"You know as a captain you're generally tuned to take decisions on the field. Here I was faced with something, which was off the field, to take a decision in the larger interest of the game," said the legendary spinner Anil Kumble.

We had to obviously be together as a team: Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble further added that there was lot of talk surrounding the team and people would have accepted that Indian team was wronged, if it came back home.

"We had to obviously be together as a team but the challenge was that there was a lot of talk about the team wanting to come back at that point in time, and leave the tour and come back. Yes, you know, probably (people) would have accepted that the Indian team was wronged and that's why they came back." said Anil Kumble.

The Sydney Test was one of the darkest chapters in Indian cricketing history, infamously remembered for the Monkey-gate scandal. Apart from the Symonds-Harbhajan run-in, the match was also mired in controversial decisions of Steve Bucknor which ultimately proved too costly for India.

Reported by Sportskeeda, Steve Bucknor had last month accepted that his howlers had denied India an outright victory.

Anil Kumble further told Ashwin that he wanted the team to rally around after the Sydney Test and win the remaining matches.

"I think as a captain, or as a team, we had gone there to win the series. Unfortunately, with the first two results not going our way, the best result could have been a drawn series because two more Test matches remained and I just wanted to rally around the team." said Anil Kumble.

After the Sydney Test, the team, under Anil Kumble, became the first Indian side in history to win on the most difficult pitch of the time, the WACA, Perth.

No overseas team, barring legendary Caribbean sides, had won in Perth since 1985-86. Given what transpired in Sydney a fortnight earlier, India's convincing 72-run victory at the WACA surely went down as its finest Test win

India drew the final match at Adelaide and showed the cricketing world its mettle and Anil Kumble emerged as one of the finest ambassadors of the game.

Published 01 Aug 2020, 15:55 IST
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