Uttar Pradesh (UP) pace bowler, RP Singh’s international career might have spanned for just 82 games overall, but he has played under several legendary Indian captains.
Rudra Pratap has played under Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and MS Dhoni, since making his debut in Zimbabwe in 2005.
Out of the stalwarts, RP named Anil Kumble as the best captain he played under. The two were part of India’s famous win at Perth during the 2008 Australia tour.
Having rubbed shoulders with some of the best in the business, the Bareily-born compared the captaincy of each.
“Anil Kumble was himself a bowler, and so he was the best captain of my life. I played only a few matches under him, but he knew the psyche of the bowler. I said ‘I will bowl in-swing then he would say no continue bowling out-swing and postpone your thoughts’. Rahul Dravid would not do that. He was a bowler, and he knew better about frustrating a bowler,” RP Singh was quoted as saying by India Today.
Also, Singh recalled the time when he received backing from Sourav, despite bowling a few wide-balls upfront on debut.
“Every captain has his own way. Sourav Ganguly gave me the ball and just told me to go and ball. First ball wide, second ball wide but he said it happens with everyone. So he was the captain who would support and say’ no worries I will make us win’,” commented the bowler who retired from the game in 2018.
While talking to Dravid, RP pointed out his technical acumen and stated that he knew how to run the game.
“Rahul Dravid was technically a very smart player, he would read the game and decide what to do. In the England series I asked to bowl from round the wicket but he should bowl a bit from over the wicket. I looked up to him after a few overs and asked again and then he asked if the ball was swinging and even asked MS Dhoni. He allowed me to bowl round the wicket after that. Setting up the field in different ways, he was a technical master, he knew how to run the game,” said the 34-year-old.
Rudra Pratap was also part of the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning squad, where he bowled an unplayable spell against South Africa. He brought laurels back home under the captaincy of a close friend Dhoni.
“We haven’t seen anyone reading the game better than MS Dhoni. When to drag a situation, change it, leave it or how to carry on a game from a situation, I haven’t seen anyone better than him in my playing career. He was a player who would read the situation differently,” concluded RP Singh.
After hanging his boots from the game, Rudra enjoyed his stint as a commentator before being elected as a member of Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC).