Anil Kumble: Top Bowling Performances
Published 10/17/2017, 7:56 AM EDT
Many said Anil Kumble can’t be a bowler and he proved them wrong with 619 scalps to his name. To be the third highest wicket taker in Test cricket is an achievement. Many questioned his batting abilities, but he proved everyone wrong in 2007 on the tour to England, when he was the only Indian on the tour to register a hundred. He scored 110 not out at the Oval, which was easily one of the most romantic moments of Indian Cricket. He did captain the Indian side and won the match for India. Jumbo, as he is popularly known, is India’s hero and a match winner. Playing with a bleeding nose, broken jaw and many such shortcomings showed his passion and love for the game and country. He even had a coaching stint with the Indian team, although it didn’t last long.
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Today on his birthday, ES brings you a collection of his top bowling performances.
Anil Kumble Performances
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8. 5 for 33 v New Zealand, Wellington, 1993-94
New Zealand were cruising towards the target in the Wellington ODI after Shane Thompson and Adam Parore stitched an 85 run partnership for the sixth wicket. Then ‘Jumbo’ joined the party and Thompson was sent packing. But not before completing his half century. Parore soon followed him. 28 off last two overs was too much for the tail-enders and India eventually won the match.
Earlier Kumble scalped the priced wickets of Chris Harry and Blair Hartland, after they added 60 runs for the second wicket. He finished with match figures of 5-33.
It was the Hero Cup final and a crowd close to 100,000 people watched the sudden collapse of West Indies batting lineup. At 57-1 they were looking solid, but once again India’s wrecker in-chief did something extraordinary. Kumble took 6 for 12 as West Indies lost their nine wickets for 66 runs. They were all out with nearly 10 overs remaining.
India registered a thumping win over the Lankans in Lucknow as Kumble registered his first 10-wicket haul in Tests which also earned him his first Man-of-the-Match award. He put on a tremendous show of fiery and ripping leg spin to which Sri Lanka had no answers. Four wickets in the first innings forced the visitors to follow-on, only for Kumble to continue his fizzing spells. He registered this mastery, despite a bleeding nose on the fourth day.
On a breaking Green Park pitch, India included two spinners in the team. Anil Kumble along with Harbhajan Singh wreaked havoc as the former went on to register another 10-wicket haul in Tests. The match was nicely poised on the third day as New Zealand led by 74 runs. In the 14 overs left on the third day, Kumble captured three New Zealand wickets, including his 250th in Tests. Night-watchman Nash lasted just one ball. Next morning two more wickets fell in the first five overs while the total reached 33, and even honour in defeat looked to be beyond New Zealand.
On a fractious pitch Kumble took 6-67 in the second innings, to gain match figures of ten for 134. A target of 82 runs was never defendable as India went on to win the match with a day to spare.
4. 3 for 93 and 4 for 66 v England, Headingley, 2002
Until this match, Kumble was often scoffed for being ineffective on foreign soils. In the third Test against England at Headingley he took 7-159 as India won by an innings and 46 runs, one of the rare wins in English conditions. With a fine fifth day spell, Kumble snuffed out England’s dream of a miracle escape as he provided the killer blows, removing Alec Stewart and century-maker Nasser Hussain, as India completed a series levelling win. He even surpassed Alan Donald’s tally of 330 wickets and proved his value overseas.
Six wickets on the final day in Kolkata scripted a splendid 195-run win over archrivals Pakistan, giving them a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series. Despite Afridi’s belligerent onslaught that propelled Pakistan to an ominous start, Kumble held his nerves and dismissed him just before stumps on day four and returned to skittle the arch rivals for a mere 226. With ten wickets in the match, he once again proved to be India’s biggest match winner at home.
Taking fiver on the first day of a Melbourne Test and becoming only the second spinner to do so, does speak of Kumble’s abilities. India, in their Test history, have had only a few good first days when on tour. This one at the MCG will rank right up with those few. Australia ran away with the first sessions of play and when it seemed like India will follow a similar story, Kumble took control with a typical display of leg spin. He got Phil Jaques stumped, breaking a 135-run opening partnership. Mike Hussey, Adam Gilchrist and Andrew Symonds soon followed after surviving some close calls. With Brett Lee’s wicket at the end of the day, Kumble stood tall. Though India’s much talked batting lineup faltered, but Kumble had set the tone for India to follow-on later in the famous series.
Kumble’s finest moment on the cricket field, becoming only the second bowler, after Jim Laker, to take all 10 wickets in a Test innings, claiming 10 for 74 in the second innings against Pakistan in Delhi. Chasing a record 420 for victory, Pakistan were hobbled by two decisive blows off successive deliveries. Shahid Afridi and Ijaz Ahmed were Kumble’s hapless victims. Wasim Akram was Kumble’s 10 victim as he pushed a catch to short leg. India registered their first Test win over Pakistan in 19 years and created history.
Modest as ever, Kumble joked in an on-air interview following the incredible achievement: “As a bowler, everybody dreams of getting 10 wickets. My mum, whenever I go to see her, says ‘Get a hat-trick, get a hat-trick’, the next time it will be ‘Get 10 wickets’.”
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