Kumble – A legend
I don’t know how many of you agree with my title but that is the height I kept him as far as cricket is concerned. I don’t want to bore you with some stats and all here. I am just going to share what makes me to respect him and keep him in that highest regard.
I am a cricket fan from my childhood. Cricket virus affected me severly when I was in my 5th standard. Still it’s not cured. At that time two prime bowlers for India are Kumble and Srinath. But Kumble was the one who will continously take wickets. So I liked him. Even at times I tried to immitate his bowling action(Still I am trying). I love the way he tosses the ball before delivering. And the incidents I could remember on him are follows:
1. There are many a times Azhar, the former captain, will throw the ball at Kumble before the 15 overs(powerplay) to bowl. But he will still bowl and get the breakthroughs. Even the greatest spinners like Warne or Murali will not bowl inside the 15 overs. Such committed he is, who always places the team’s interest ahead of his.
2. 1996 world cup, India Vs. Pakistan, Quarterfinal: There is a big partnership was going between Salim Malik and Miandad and he took the wicket of Miandad with an LBW. One of the interesting moment in that match.
3. 10 wickets: How can I miss this one? But unfortunately I didn’t watched it live. I didn’t had that interest in me to watch test cricket at that time. At lunch I have seen Pakistan was at 91/0 in 20 overs so I switched off the TV and went off. In the evening I heard that India won with Kumble claiming all the 10 wickets. Here is the video footage:
4. 1997, India Vs Australia, Titan Cup: This time he shown his heroics with the bat. He along with Srinath won the match for India by chasing down the total of 214 successfully. Sachin was dismissed at the score of 170 and I thought that’s end of match but what I have seen after that was a thriller.
5. 2002, India Vs West Indies, test match: In this match he showed why he is regarded in such high regard. With his head injured, he came out to bowl and scalped the wicket of Brian Lara. India managed win that test. This showed his courage, commitment, spirit and pride when playing cricket for our country.
6. After the 2003 world cup, were he played a role of mere spectator I thought that his carreer is ended. But he proved me wrong with both bat and ball. This is the period I started to watch test cricket and Kumble become more dangerous to his opponents with lots of varieties in his bowling. There are some matches(India Vs Srilanka, 2005 test series in India) where his every delivery is capable of getting a wicket. In the 2nd test, Attapattu played him very well by coming down the track. Kumble caught him in a trap by bowling a slower, shorter length delivery. Attapattu was out of crease and he couldn’t control the shot and the shot went right into the hands of Kumble.
7. His 100 against England last year was absolutely a unforgettable one. He always had that ability to bat for a long time with resolve and he deserves this hundred.
8. Captained India in the twilight of his carreer and led the team with pride and dignity in the crisis marred Australian tour. At the press conference, after the 2nd test he didn’t burst out at the reporters but he was composed and just used the right words to explain his disappointment on the loss and the Australian team behaviour.
His last test wicket: Running back some 30 yards, and taking the catch with the injured hand and shown his teammates on what is meant by commitment. After seeing India has got a leg spinner in Amit Mishra who has ability, he just retired with his head held high. Let his golden arms may have some rest now.
Some pictures of his last match:
1. Takes the field for one last time:
2. Dhoni showing he can not only shoulder the responsibility of Kumble but also Kumble:
This is the small thing I have done as a fan of Kumble.