Bangalore, Sep 8: Former India captain Anil Kumble has said that his team mates Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, who retired from international cricket recently played a vital role in his success as close-in fielders.
Kumble, who has claimed 619 Test wickets, feels Dravid and Laxman were responsible for his success as 81 of them were dismissed caught at slips, and these two legends were the ones who had mastered the art of slip fielding.
"Rahul and Laxman were brilliant for me as close-in fielders. Most of the times, they knew exactly what I was going to bowl. I never had to discuss my bowling plans with them or instruct them particularly. At times, I told them if I wanted them to stand a bit straighter or wider, but mostly they were very precise in positioning themselves," Kumble said.
Kumble also said that when the two were around, he never worried about anything as Dravid and Laxman would know where he bowls and feels he is lucky to have found such great close-in fielders.
"For a spinner to succeed it's very important to have good close-in fielders and I was very lucky to have quite a few. Rahul and Laxman were among the best. They expected a catch off every ball.
"They weren't afraid to stand close to the bat and gave their 100 percent in the field. As a bowler the last thing you want is to worry about having a slip fielder who is not really alert. That was never on my mind," he said in an interview to BCCI website.
He further added that Dravid's concentration was second to none while Laxman was highly optimistic which made them truly special.
"Rahul's concentration and focus was unbelievable. It was impossible for me to be that focused. And the amount of work that he put in, in order to prepare himself for a match, was really inspirational.
"What I liked the most about Laxman was that he was extremely positive no matter what the situation was. He never worried about how the pitch was and how it would behave. He bailed India out of trouble on innumerable occasions with his positivity and calmness," he said.
Talking about their retirement, Kumble said they decided to bid adieu on their own terms and thought they took the decisions at the right time.
While Dravid knew he was not going to play for the next 6 months, which prompted him to call it a day, while Laxman could have easily played the two match Test series and continued for a year atleast, but decided to bid adieu to international cricket ahead of the Test series.
"I really admire the way both, Rahul and Laxman retired -they went out on their own terms, and I really appreciate that. Laxman could've easily played the Test series against New Zealand and then gone on a high. But he never looked at things from a personal perspective.
"Both men always kept the team's interest above their own. When the two of them batted together, the dressing room would be totally relaxed. Rahul and Laxman will be sorely missed," he said
Since they gave more importance for the team and its success, they never thought about their personal landmarks. Kumble also said that the dressing room atmosphere was relaxed, when these two were at the crease, and since they have retired, things are going to change drastically as Team India will miss both the Indian greats.