Anil was my choice as captain: Vijay Mallya

May 5th, 2009 - 4:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, May 5 (IANS) Royal Challengers team owner Vijay Mallya has said the choice of Anil Kumble as skipper of the side after Kevin Pietersen’s exit was a well thought-out decision taken by him.
Kumble’s captaincy has given a new lease of life to the Royal Challengers as they shrugged off their form-slump to win three matches in a row and climb up in the Indian Premier League standings.

“Obviously, it is my decision (to pick Anil Kumble as captain). As a team owner I decide. But it was no last-minute decision,” Mallya said.

Under star England player Kevin Pietersen, Challengers were struggling in the competition after their first match victory over defending champions Rajasthan Royals.

Pietersen led the side for six matches before he left for national duty.

Jacques Kallis was supposed to take over the captaincy but his poor form paved way for Kumble to take charge of the team.

After four successive losses, Pietersen signed off on a high with Challengers beating Kolkata Knight Riders and Kumble then revived their campaign with two more wins.

Mallya said now that they have bounced back in the tournament, his team is a strong contender and should not be underestimated.

“I have been saying all along. Don’t underestimate those who are losing. Even those teams who have been winning all their games will lose as the law of averages will come to play. Yes, we lost a few matches and now we have bounced back. Now we are motivated and will try to keep the momentum going,” Mallya was quoted as saying in iplt20.com.

Kumble moulded the team into a winning bunch with victories against Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians.”

“We got everything right for the third time in a row. We performed extremely well. I think beating Mumbai by nine wickets in 18 overs and scoring 150 runs for one wicket is a great performance.”"

“We need not be demoralised by our losses in this tournament. We should think positive and move forward. I think only a great performance like this adds to another,” said the proud team owner.

Commenting on his team’s chances of winning the championship, Mallya said: “The art of winning is also about accepting defeat. Nobody can go into any tournament or any form of sport saying that they will only win.

“I think we lost a few matches that we should have won. We have the talent and determination to play well and if that takes us to winning this tournament, then I will be the happiest main in the world.”

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