If India had pulled out of Australia tour in 2008, people would have accepted it: Kumble

YB WEB DESK. Dated: 8/1/2020 10:48:01 AM

New Delhi, July 31 Former India captain Anil Kumble recalled a few tough decisions he had to make as skipper during the tour of Australia in 2007-08, saying there were talks about pulling out of the tour after the controversial Sydney Test. Anil Kumble said fans would have accepted India pulling out of the tour after all that happened during their 122-run loss to Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The Test match was marred by poor umpiring calls and the much-publicised allegations of racism from Australia against Harbhajan Singh. India denied the allegation that Harbhajan had made racist remarks against Andrew Sydmonds but the off-spinner was handed a 3-year ban. India appealed against the ban and threatened to pull out of the series only to withdraw the threat later. Harbhajan was banned for 3 Tests but the decision was reversed by New Zealand High Court judge John Hansen who heard the BCCI appeal after being appointed by the ICC. Kumble was miffed with the umpiring decisions that went against India, including the one wherein Ricky Ponting influenced umpire Mike Heson to give Sourav Ganguly out after appeal for an inconclusive catch. BCCI requested Steve Bucknor to be removed from the rest of the series over poor decisions that hurt India's chances. Chetan Chauhan, the then manager of the Indian team, said India would not have lost the Test even if they had received 50 percent of the contentious calls. Kumble, speaking to offspinner R Ashwin on his YouTube show DRS with Ash, conceded it was tough for India after the Sydney Test defeat but he and the senior members of the team decided to continue with the tour and win the remaining matches, which he believed would have been the 'best message' to fans who supported the visiting side. "As a captain, I thought the best result coming out of Sydney could have been a draw after all that that had happened. Unfortunately we lost. With 5 minutes to go, nobody expected a Michael Clarke to come and pick up 3 wickets in the final stages and win the game for Australia," Kumble said. "After all of that, as a captain, you're generally tuned to take decisions on the field. Here I was faced with something which was off the field.


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