Colombo: Michael Vaughans decision to relinquish Englands Test captaincy after losing the ongoing series to South Africa continues to be talked about. As also his superb record: 26 wins, 11 losses in 51 Tests.
On Tuesday evening, The Telegraph spoke to Indias Test captain Anil Kumble and two former captains — Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid — for their views.
While the captaincy was taken away from Sourav (Indias most successful in Tests) after a lengthy run of five-and-a-half years, successor Rahul chose to leave the hottest seat after being in it for around two years.
The following are excerpts from what they said (in alphabetical order):
Whether Vaughans decision came as a surprise
DRAVID: Sitting thousands of miles away, its difficult to say anything... I dont know what was going on in his mind.
GANGULY: Yes, it did surprise... I cant understand why he left the captaincy with one Test in the series remaining... He could have waited for it to end but, then, thats a personal observation.
KUMBLE: I didnt expect him to step down (now)... Having said that, Im not aware of what he was going through.
Vaughan as captain
DRAVID: He was tactically good... I watched him from close during our tour of England last year... Also watched bits of his captaincy during the 2005 Ashes, which England won.
GANGULY: Very good, I mean his record proves it... However, in the 2005 Ashes for example, he had an excellent attack at his disposal... Had wicket-taking bowlers.
KUMBLE: He was good... As captain, he definitely had a presence on and off the field and helped England achieve the results they did during his tenure.
Whether captains have a shelf life
DRAVID: Dont know...
GANGULY: Yes, I think so... Probably five-six years... Its a personal thing, really... Depends on the individual.
KUMBLE: Difficult to say... Possibly...
Finally, thoughts on Kevin Pietersen, who has been given the Test and ODI captaincy
DRAVID: Hes Englands best batsman, but cant comment whether his batting will get affected... What I can say is that hell be as good as his team. Thats how it works.
GANGULY: Its to be seen whether his natural flair gets curbed... It will be interesting to see how he handles himself.
KUMBLE: Difficult to form an opinion on whether captaincy will affect his batting.