Anil Kumble had an illustrious career, studded with record breaking performances and several laurels. Kumble was a tall figure and won a lot of Test matches for India. His contribution as a leg-spinner in the resurgent India squad still remains unparalleled and will be cherished by cricket fans for years to come.
Kumble was a major success for India, he was committed to the game. Even if he broke his jaw, he was contended to deliver for the team. He was the first Indian spinner to take 300 wickets and also picked up 10 wickets against Pakistan in Delhi. Kumble, however, had duels with some of the finest batsmen of all time.
Kumble said that he was fortunate enough to play along side Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag. He, however, said that West Indies legend Brian Lara was the best batsman he bowled against. Explaining his choice, Kumble said that it was as he had plenty of shots.
When Lara stood ground on the crease, it looked difficult to dislodge him. He showed composure, and stitched long innings, to take the game away from the oppositions as no one could. He was lesson in Test cricket, and youngsters today, can still take a look at all his innings and learn the art of batting long effortlessly.
“Lots of them but fortunately most of them were a part of my team. It was very good that I had Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly, Sehwag – all these guys in the nets rather than thinking in the previous evening that I have to bowl at these guys in a match,” Kumble said in a conversation with Pommie Mbangwa.
“Many batsmen who were very difficult to bowl at. But Brian Lara was probably at the top. He had four different shots to every delivery that you bowled and that was the biggest challenge, you thought you could beat him, you would get him but then he would change his stroke and sort of tap you through the third man,” Kumble added.
Kumble retired with 619 wickets in Test and 337 in ODIs.