The 2008 Sydney Test match held between India and Australia is widely popular for all the wrong reasons. From several umpiring errors to ‘Monkey Gate’ hullabaloo, which happened between Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh and Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds, the SCG test will always be remembered for the awful events.
Recalling the Test, former India spinner Anil Kumble, who was also the captain of Team India during that series, revealed that pulling out of the Australia series after that game was on the table. Still, he or the team didn’t go ahead with it as they wanted to set an example.
While speaking with Ravichandran Ashwin on his YouTube show, ‘DRS with Ash’, Kumble disclosed that as a skipper, he had to make a significant decision – whether to stay in Australia or come back home.
“You know as a captain you’re generally tuned to take decisions on the field. Here I was faced with something, which was off the field, to decide on the larger interest of the game. We had to be together as a team, obviously,” said Kumble.
The former leg-spinner further stated that there was a lot of talk around the team regarding the cancellation of the tour and fans would have accepted that Indian team was mistreated, if they would have come back home early.
“We had to be together as a team obviously but the challenge was that there was a lot of talk about the team wanting to come back at that point in time, and leave the tour and come back. Yes, you know, probably (people) would have accepted that the Indian team was wronged and that’s why they came back,” the 49-year-old added.
Kumble also mentioned that he wanted the team to rally around after the Sydney Test and defeat the Aussies in the remaining matches.
“I think as a captain, or as a team, we had gone there to win the series. Unfortunately, with the first two results not going our way, the best result could have been a drawn series because two more Test matches remained and I just wanted to rally around the team,” concluded Kumble.