Johannesburg:Royal Challenger Bangalore coach Ray Jennings has lavished praise on skipper Anil Kumble, terming him a 'legend' and 'true gentlemen' and said working with the Indian spinner was an eye-opener.
"Kumble is true gentleman, he is a very creative guy. More of a bowling captain than a batting captain. But you have got Boucher and Kallis in the side, you take some advice from them. He is amazing with the younger players, he is amazing with me in how he treats me. It is a real privilege to work with a captain like that," he explained.
"You know he is a legend in that area (bowling). I have always known that. But to work with him, you know it's been an eye-opener for myself," Jennings told IPL's official website.
Kumble was entrusted with the responsibility of the Bangalore outfit after Kevin Pietersen left for national duty and under the leg-spinner the Challengers not only resurrected their campaign but are now a win away from claiming a semi-final berth.
The Royal Challengers won three matches on the trot, which included a seven-wicket victory over Delhi Daredevils last night.
Jacques Kallis, who fashioned the victory with his unbeaten 58, was also applauded by Jennings.
"Interesting thing with Jacques... when Dr Mallya offered me the job, Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher put my name forward. And I said I need players to actually back him up and Jacques said to me that whatever happens he will come close to being man of the series. And he is living up to that expectation. Superb cricketer with a great attitude. I respect him as a legend," Jennings said.
The former South African coach said though Kumble is the team's captain, all the members pitch in with their suggestion and so each player is a captain in his own right.
"I think what I try and do in the side is that everybody in the team is a captain in their own right. When I come up with a side I want to play. I start off with one of the playing members and ask him what he thinks.
"And I go through with the side. I ask Kallis from the batting point of view what he thinks, then I go to a bowler. So the team and combinations and ideas come from a lot of players around in the side.
"Everybody is a captain, everybody makes decisions in our side. Even the most inexperienced guys and those who have not played in the tournament. Cameron White is a captain... a captain off the field.
"If there is unhappiness off the field, it will be difficult to motivate the guys on the field. Important thing for me is team first and a happy unit, and make sure that we can show that fighting spirit on the field, hopefully you can see that," he added.
With teams failing to keep up their standard of fielding in the tournament, Jennings feels it is primarily because of fatigue and lack of concentration.
"Our catching in the beginning wasn't as good. Moving towards the end of the tournament, we must probably be one of the best fielding sides. I think with the fielding, there is probably a fatigue factor and there is a lack of concentration. And maybe guys haven't practised as much as they have done before," he said.