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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Bye-Bye Jumbo

18 years, for 18 years they waited that he will turn the bowl, and he didn't.
Anil Kumble was never the conventional spinner, one who turns the bowl much, infact at one time we as kids used to discuss how Venkatesh Prasad's cutters turn more than Kumble's leg breaks. But what he had was consistency, over after over he used to place batsman on a grill. If Warnie and Murali had all the fast food instant items, Kumble was of the Tandoori variety, slow and effective.


As a kid my friend Anirvaan or Rikki a big fan of Kumble use to imitate him and his action exactly. So much so that after every bowl he used to adjust his specs (something which the Kumble of those days with a specs and moustache used to do). Tall and broad he resembled Kumble and used to bowl day in and day out like him. His imitation was on similar lines as that of Shameek's Prasad action or my Arshad Khan action :).

Kumble's earliest memories take me back to Hero Cup, where he took 6/12 (if I am not mistaken) against a pretty strong West Indies side. India won that series and that was the first time Day and Night Cricket happened in India. Most from my generation remember that as the first time we saw cricket. (Although I remember the 1992 world cup too, good memory you see :)).

Kumble cleaning up the stumps of Richie Richardson is something I vaguely remember.

From those days Kumble had a great ability to bowl straight, consistently probing the batsmen. Flipper and Googly, both his main weapons surprised the batsmen. He used to slowly setup the batsmen and then use them as weapons which more often than not resulted in success.

Azhar had a major contribution in shaping up the career of Anil Kumble along with India's manager in those days, Ajit Wadekar. Throughout the days of Azhar India remained unbeaten at home and Anil Kumble was one of the major reasons for that. During that period Kumble cemented his position as the undisputed domestic champion.

With Dada came a change, India started winning abroad and Anil Kumble contributed to its success in australia, W Indies, England and South Africa. He had a mkor role to play in all its victories abroad.

There are three moments which stand out for any Kumble fan- the ten wicket haul against Pakistan at Kotla, I still remember praying to god for the final wicket of Akram which he took; his jaw breaking effort at Antigua test where he claimed the wicket of Lara and bowled even with a broken Jaw; the Sydney test (Steve Waugh's farewell series) which he bowled superbly and we came very close to a series victory (thanks to Parthiv Patel and Mr. Bucknor we didnt win it). Although I would like to add another, the Perth test in which he led us to victory last season after the Sydney MonkeyGate scandal. That was another moment which stands out for me.

When he left the stadium at Kotla that day, I suddenly had a feeling of immense respect for this cricketer whose importance many of us realise now. His match winning contribution to Indian Crikcet is unparalleled and a spinner like Kumble will rarely appear on World Stage again.

Hail Kumble and may he have great success in whatever he does next.

Extra Bites:

Harsha Bhogle has paid a great tribute to this great cricketer, read it.

My post on gilly's retirement earlier in the year

Coming up is the super sad moment of Dada retiring :((

Technorati Tags: Anil Kumble, Indian Cricket

4 comments:

Prateek said...

exactly..all of a sudden i also started respecting him more with that moment when dhoni and all were carrying him on their shoulders...

Cuckoo said...

Oh I too wanted to write on this. But I am so busy. :(

But why are you sad about dada ? I told you all have to go one day, let the young team take the reins. :)

Hail Dhoni ! :P

diwakarkaushik said...

what will happen when sachin retires!!!!!!!

desh said...

@prateek

amazing scenes those wr

@cuckoo

dada ke baare main kuch mat bolna, Dada ka post padhna, usse pata pad jaayega dada kitne mahaan hai :)


@dk

pralay aa jaayegi, bhagwaan kabhi retire nahi ho sakte waise...