Anil Kumble Never Gave You An Inch: Steve Waugh Lauds The Former Indian Spinner

Anil Kumble Never Gave You An Inch: Steve Waugh Lauds The Former Indian Spinner

Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh. Photo Credit: Action Images via Reuters.

Former Australia captain, Steve Waugh heaps high praises for Anil Kumble. Waugh likens Kumble’s importance for India’s bowling to that of Rahul Dravid in India’s batting department.

Kumble is only the second bowler, after England’s Jim Laker, to take 10 wickets in an innings of a Test match, a feat he achieved against Pakistan in Delhi. Fondly referred to as the ‘Jumbo’, Kumble led India in Test matches towards the fag end of his career; the leg-spinner was at the forefront in India’s victory over Australia in Perth in the famous 2007-08 series after the Sydney fiasco, where Team India almost forfeited the tour.

He retired in 2008 as the third-highest Test wicket-taker – behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne – with 619 wickets.

Anil Kumble Never Gave You An Inch: Steve Waugh Lauds The Former Indian Spinner
Anil Kumble. (Credits: Web)

Playing for India was everything for Anil Kumble: Steve Waugh

Steve Waugh talks about Anil Kumble’s passion for playing cricket for India; Kumble once bowled with a broken jaw against the West Indies after being hit on the face. Waugh opines that the leg-spinner enjoyed playing for his team and was always backed by any of the Indian captains he bowled under.

“He (Anil Kumble) was a fierce competitor. He was always at you and never gave you an inch. I can’t remember him bowling poorly against us. He was a bit like Dravid of their bowling lineup. The captain knew what they were going to get from him. He was there all the time. I don’t think I played anyone who enjoyed playing for the country as much as he (Anil Kumble) did. It was everything to him.” Steve Waugh told cricket.com.au.

Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble. (Credits: Twitter)

The 55-year-old reveals that his batsmen didn’t play Kumble as a leg-spinner since he didn’t turn the ball much as one would expect a wrist-spinner to – instead the Aussies batted against him treating Kumble like a slow swing bowler, who would make most out of even a dead pitch. Regarded as India’s greatest match-winner with the ball, the former India coach picked 111 wickets in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, a record which stands hitherto.

“We certainly didn’t play him as a leg-spinner. We played him more like a slow in-swing bowler. He had a great change of pace. It was all about variations, use of the crease. He sort of mixed it up a bit. Anything in the wicket like a bit of rough or unevenness, and he was more than a handful,” the former Aussie skipper explained.

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