Monday, November 3, 2008

Jumbo makes his final landing

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

All good things have to come to an end they say so has Anil Kumble's glorious career. One of the most successful bowlers in the history of test cricket has finally called it a day. Cricket is often known as the 'Gentleman's Game'
and ironically there are a few present cricketers who believe in this but Jumbo as he is fondly called belongs to the rare gentleman club. If there was one word in the dictionary to describe this man it would have to be 'determination'.

Anil's decision to quit in the middle of the series has surprised many even within the team. But the kind of postmortem the media was doing of his performance was quite sad to see. True his performance was not up to the 'Kumble mark' but we do not produce match winners like him overnight. He had hinted at the start of the series about his retirement and perhaps Feroz Shah Kotla where he created history nine years ago was the perfect venue for Killer Kumble to bid adieu to cricket.

The Antigua Test of 2002 against the West Indies perhaps narrates the spirit of the man who played with a lion's heart. Despite having broken his jaw while batting and doctors having confirmed fracture a heavily bandaged Kumble took the field and bowled 14 overs. Legends of the game like Vivan Richards and Sunil Gavaskar admitted to never having seen a sight like that. Sachin Tendulkar acknowledged it being one moment he will never forget his entire life.

The Perfect 10 that he got against arch rivals Pakistan in Feroz Shah Kotla in 99 remains one of the greatest tails of Indian cricket. Killer Kumble rattled the Pakistani batting order from 101 for no loss to 207 all out in just 27 overs equalling Jim Laker's 33 year old record. In Aug 2007 he achieved another milestone by scoring his maiden test hundred against the English attach at Oval in the way becoming the first Indian batsman to score a century on the tour.

Kumble has always faced criticism for nor being able to turn the ball. The batsman the world over should thank their fate as if he would turn the ball sharply he would have run through batting orders. Anil was the Glen McGrath of spin bowling who did not let any batsman relax. It is foolish to imagine what McGrath would have achieved if he had the variety like Wasim Akram. Anil's strength was in his line and the tremendous bounce that he generated on dusty Indian wickets. He and Shane Warne revived the dying art of leg spin bowling in the 90s.

It is sad that injury and meaningless criticism has deprived Anil Kumble of a proper farewell test match. The Indian captain has played the game with dignity and could not have continued under the scrutiny of people whose cricketing knowledge is as good as their knowledge of Mars. Anil leaves behind a huge legacy to the game of cricket and it will take a lot of heart for the Amit Mishras and the Piyush Chawlas to step into his shoes. Well done Jumbo, thanks for your service to the 'Gentleman's Game'


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP