'Monkeygate' Controversy Could Have Been Solved by me And Ricky Ponting: Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble, former India captain, says if he and Australian captain Ricky Ponting would have sat together and talked about the whole incident, then it could have been solved easily.
Anil Kumble, recalling the infamous 'Monkeygate' incident during India's tour of Australia in 2008 which involved Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds, on Saturday said a lot of problems could have been solved with just Australia captain Ricky Ponting and him sitting and talking about the matter. (The Captain Always Decides, Not The Team: Anil Kumble)
During the second Test of the four-match Test series in Sydney, Symonds said he was racially abused by Harbhajan as the Indian off-spinner allegedly called the Australian all-rounder 'monkey'.
But the Indian camp denied it and claimed that Harbhajan had used the Hindi abuse 'maa ki'. But referee Mike Procter handed Harbhajan a three-match suspension for racial abuse. This left the Indians fuming and the team soon threatened to go home with two Tests remaining.
Later, India decided to play the complete series. After the conclusion of the series, Harbhajan's suspension was dropped, though.
"We wanted to play and win the series. I was fortunate to have such a lot of players beside me like Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag who supported me and Harbhajan during the incident. But I think a lot could have been solved with just me and the Australia skipper," Kumble said.
The only leg-spinner who became the captain of India, replacing batting great Rahul Dravid in September 2007, said a captain should be attacking and not aggressive.
"A captain needs to be attacking. Aggression is not the right word in this context. One has to have the intent to win games for your country and personality will come along. A captain should be prepared for the unexpected. Best captains should always be a step ahead of the game," he said.
"India have two captains now and that is logical. I don't think two captains will be difficult. I don't think it will be difficult for the players to adjust with the two captains in different formats of the game. Players are now playing and switching from one format to the other and that will help them to shift from one captain to the other," Kumble, who took 619 wickets in Tests and 337 in ODIs," said.
"Dhoni as we know is a calm and quiet captain and Kohli is a different captain. So players will not have difficulty to switch from one captain to another as players are now used to shifting formats and game."