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'I had to know what is unlike Anil Kumble'

Our Correspondent | October 16, 2008 13:03 IST

Anil Kumble's [Images] coming down hard at the media in one of his recent columns wasn't exactly on expected lines.

It was quite unlike him, and rather uncharacteristic, considering he is usually quite composed and calculated about the statements that he makes.

Especially since the Indian captain has mostly been non-controversial in his illustrious career. Maybe he was just venting his ire, maybe it was something that came out in a spurt of a moment or maybe it was just a repercussion of his own poor form-- a means to show his frustration at not being able to deliver the goods in recent times.

In his column in a national daily, Kumble slammed the Indian media for its hostilities and wrote it was like reliving the trauma of the Australian tour 10 months ago, where he had to split his time "between playing cricket and handling a host of unnecessary off-the-field issues, instead of being able to concentrate on playing the game and handling my team."

"I really didn't expect to have to go through this all over again, on my home turf," he added.

Whatever may have been the case it definitely brought a new facet, hitherto unseen, of the Indian captain to the fore.

The media was on the look out for an opportunity to ask for an explanation. Something that came on the eve of the second Test at Mohali. The first question asked was the obvious one and the answer a tad surprising.

"May be I had to know what is unlike Anil Kumble," joked the captain, before going on to give a more satisfactory explanation.

"I had to be myself. I was an opportunity to express my view and we don't get many such opportunities," he explained. "And what I was saying wasn't only my view. It is also something that the team thinks.

"So, it is not unlike me but very much what I am. And as I have a said, a lot of things are spoken about cricket but in the end, it is a sport that has to be played."

Now that he had done his explanation bit a second question followed, one that the captain perhaps didn't want to answer. But he definitely had to, even though it didn't matter if he was not satisfactory this time.

It was pertaining to his participation in the Mohali Test since he had had a sore shoulder for some time now.

"I am better but am still see how it responds," explained Kumble. "There are still almost 24 hours. We still have some time to take a call. We definitely cannot decide at this point." But should he decide to sit out, who is going to replace him?

"I still have to see how I go and it also depends how the pitch looks in the morning," concluded the captain, refusing to divulge any further detail. And on this occasion he was definitely being very much like his own self.

Complete coverage: Australia in India 2008

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