Tag: Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble retires as India’s top Test wicket taker

Anil Kumble in his hairy-lipped heyday when his name rhymed with 'humble'People still slag Anil Kumble off for bowling too fast and not turning the ball. It’s not really the point. 619 Test wickets say that he’s right and they’re wrong.

Kumble never spun the ball much – it’s not a recent thing – yet he’s been the best spin bowler in India for about 18 years. Being the best spinner in India isn’t like being the best spinner in England. There’s competition.

Maybe the problem is that people rate him as a leg-spinner, when really they should be rating him as a bowler. Kumble’s method has more in common with Glenn McGrath than Shane Warne. Make the batsman play. Move the ball a touch. Do it again. And again.

He was never a leg-spinner anyway. He was a googly bowler – particularly in his early days. They make that kind of distinction in India and it says a lot about the way the nation regards spin bowling. In England there are two kinds of spinners – off-spinners and leg-spinners. In India they recognise that there are many ways to bowl spin and any of them can be successful.

If every bowler bowled fast-medium, the game would be dull. If every spin bowler were the same, the game would be dull. How many tall, bouncy, medium-pace googly bowlers have there been? Anil Kumble was a pretty intriguing bowler. For most of his career, he had a quite marvellous moustache as well and isn’t that really what it’s all about? Facial hair?

A post about when Anil Kumble hit his Test hundred that also mentions the ten wickets in an innings thing that we didn’t manage to squeeze into this update.


Anil Kumble leads from the front

Anil Kumble fills in as umpireWe have a friend who follows from the front. It’s not very productive when you’re trying to get somewhere and you realise that the person you thought was leading the way is in fact shuffling along with no clue as to where he’s going.

India’s new captain, Anil Kumble, took 4-38 in Pakistan’s first innings. These aren’t even close to his best figures against Pakistan at Delhi, because it was here that he took 10-74 against them. Those are bowling figures for an innings, not a match, for the few of you who don’t know about that performance.

India will get a first innings lead after the day ended with them on 228-6, but it took a lower middle-order fightback to edge them up, as it did in Pakistan’s innings. At one stage they were 93-5, but VVS Laxman, the classiest batsman to have spent an entire Test career under threat, has made 57 not out. Mahendra Dhoni also contributed 57.

Low scoring still prevails. We had to check our reflection to check it wasn’t the Eighties. We looked like a grown-up – it’s not the Eighties. According to the reflection, it’s 2019.


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