Gautam Gambhir played five Test matches under Anil Kumble's captaincy (Reuters Photo)

Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir has picked Anil Kumble as the best captain that he played under, albeit for a brief period of time between 2007 and 2008.

Gambhir made his international debut under Rahul Dravid in 2004 and then went on to play under Kumble, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli’s captaincy during his 14-year international career.

But it was under Kumble that he picked up the tricks of the trade and lauded the legendary leg-spinner for being a selfless leader for India.

“There is a difference between being a captain and a leader. I have played under lots and lots of captains in my career. The most selfless and honest person that I have played under, and I have learned a lot.

“I have been asked which is the best captain I have played under and I have always said that the captain is as good as his team. Today I can say that I have played under a lot of captains, but there was only one leader and that was Anil Kumble. I think I have learned so much from him,” Gambhir told India Today.

Gambhir, who is one of the most successful captains in the Indian Premier League, credited Kumble for the way he led the team.

“I have played only five Tests under him. I have learned a lot of my leadership skills from him. The way he was selfless and the way he was passionate… the way he was honest about his own cricket. I think I can say after I have retired that he was the best leader that I played under,” Gambhir, who announced his retirement from all forms of cricket earlier this month, added.

Gambhir’s leadership skills and astute cricketing brain was one of the main reasons behind Kolkata Knight Riders’ turnaround in the IPL. After Gambhir came on board in 2011, KKR went on to win two titles in 2012 and 2014.

The 37-year-old also had a terrific record for India in one-day internationals in the limited opportunities that he got to lead the team. He has a 100 percent record in the 6 ODIs that he led in.