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.
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.
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.