Top 5 captains who were also spinners
A look at some of the finest skippers in the game who had spin bowling as their forte.
A captain plays an important role in cricket, unlike other sports where the team manager or coach holds the key to team success. He has to manage the team on the field, taking key decisions at crucial moments as well as making the team gel on and off the field.
The captain is expected to lead from the front, inspiring his teammates with his performances, as well as guiding the team in pursuit of victory, which ultimately determines how successful he has been as skipper.
It is imperative that the players feel comfortable with the skipper and are happy to play under him. A captain may fail to tick all the above boxes at the same time but when we look back in time, it is essentially how influential he has been during his reign that determines his value.
The names of Steve Waugh, Imran Khan, Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni, Ricky Ponting among others pop up when we talk about the best leaders but who are the Top 5 captains who were spin bowlers.
Let's find out.
#5 Anil Kumble (India)
India's leading wicket-taker in Test cricket history with 619 scalps to his name, Anil Kumble was someone who bowled with a lot of heart and reaped rewards through his hard work and determination.
That quality shone through when he was made the captain of the Indian Test side in 2007 after Rahul Dravid stepped down following the infamous Greg Chappell era in Indian cricket.
Though Kumble's captaincy record is not much to boast of, with just three wins from 14 Test matches, he stepped in at a difficult time for the side, who were looking for options with Sachin Tendulkar opting out of the race while MS Dhoni was still deemed not ready for the role in the longest format.
Kumble took on the responsibility and ensured that the payers stuck together and led the side in the same manner he did as a player - with his heart on his sleeve.
Also important to note is the fact that Kumble led the side against some pretty strong opposition - Australia twice, including the controversial tour Down Under 2007/08 which could have gone India's way had decisions gone been in their favour, as well as series against Pakistan and South Africa at home and Sri Lanka away.
The series win over Pakistan was Kumble's lone success as skipper while he also had an overseas win each away at Sri Lanka and Australia, but that shouldn't take away from the importance of his reign as a calm and composed influence on and off the field.
Kumble also led India in a solitary ODI match against England at Chennai in 2002, which the hosts won by four wickets.
Never a great spinner of the ball, Kumble overcame his limitations as a bowler with his sharp mind and replicated it in his captaincy as well.
Anil Kumble's Captaincy record: