Perth: He's in the twilight of a decorated career but leg-spinner Anil Kumble embraced the challenge of leading India and engineered a shock 72-run win over Australia in the third test.
The stunning result at the WACA Ground, which followed India's loss in the highly controversial second Test at the SCG, ended Australia's record-equalling 16-Test winning streak. It also dealt the world champions their first Test loss on home soil since India beat them in Adelaide in late 2003.
Kumble's baptism of fire came in November, when he led the Indians to their first home series win against arch rivals Pakistan since 1980 in his first month in the job.
The veteran of 124 Tests, who also became only the third bowler in Test history to reach 600 Test wickets during the third Test admitted it was a daunting initiation as skipper.
"It's been really tough," he said late Saturday.
"I never expected to be captain of India but it came about.
"It's been really special, having the challenge of beating Pakistan at home, which had not happened for about 25 years, and then coming on this challenging tour of Australia and all that has happened in the past couple of weeks.
"I've really enjoyed it."
Amid all the controversy of the second Test in Sydney, Kumble said he had learnt important lessons about leadership.
"It's important to just be calm and ensure you take the right decisions," he said.
"The game is bigger than anyone else and if you base your decisions on the game then you'll never go wrong.
At 37, Kumble continues to defy his age and be a wonderful performer for his country.
He almost saved the second Test against Australia with the bat and is India's leading wicket taker in the series, with 19 wickets at 30.52.
Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist this week said he believed Kumble had become an even craftier bowler in recent years, a suggestion supported by his 221 wickets in the past four years.
He attributes his longevity to a fierce determination to succeed each time he steps on the field.
"I've always believed you need to be at the top of your game no matter what time or age or what kind of level you're playing at," he said.