Anil kumble announced his retirement during the third test of Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2008. It was a shocking decision. He would have been satisfied to retire after winning the series. But the injury forced him to retire. He retired from ODIs in March 2007. I was a bit emotional when I heard about his retirement yesterday.
In his career of 18 years, he has done a lot to Indian cricket. He is the most successful bowler in Indian cricket and he is one of the best bowlers in the world cricket. He has won many matches for India. He is India's greatest match winner. His commitment to the game is unquestionable. You can't forget him bowling in West Indies with a fractured jaw or his 10 wickets in an innings against Pakistan at Ferozshah Kotla or his century against England last year.
The incident where he bowled with a bandage covering the broken jaw just shows the determination of Kumble. And in the 3rd test match against Australia at Kotla, he has shown it again by walking on the field with 11 stitches in his left hand, took the ball straightaway and claiming three wickets. He took an excellent catch of Mitchell Johnson. He doesn't give up easily in any situation. Match winning bowlers of his ability are harder to come by.
He is often criticized as not a big turner of the ball. He kept his critics silent with his match-winnings performances throughout his career. He has taken 619 wickets in tests and 337 wickets in ODIS with many match-winnings performances. His best one-day performance was six for 12 against West Indies at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 1993. And his best test performance was 14 for 149 against Pakistan in 1999 at Ferozshah Kotla where he claimed all 10 wickets in an innings. He is in the top 10 wicket takers list in ODIs and Tests.
Columnist and former cricketer Peter Roebuck said "Curiously, Kumble has little in common with his two great contemporaries, Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan. They relied on excess, spinning the ball ferociously and able, by sleight of hand, to fool batsmen into playing at thin air. They created error by destroying hope. Kumble more closely resembles Glenn McGrath because he does not so much baffle batsmen as torture them with precisely-pitched deliveries. Like the Australian, he does not tear opponents apart, just works away methodically till the deed has been done. Apparently he is an engineer, but he belongs in the courts of law as an inquisitor."
Kumble has been an inspiration to indian cricket generations. I have seen him play for India all these years and I don't think he got involved in any controversy or charged for an offense in his 18 years of career. He has portrayed himself as one of the most dedicated player on the field.
However his form slipped during the tour of Sri Lanka and there was pressure on him to quit after a wicketless performance in the Bangalore Test against Australia. A shoulder injury and the recent injury added fuel to the fire. He announced his retirement during the third test.
He said "Eventually it was an injury to the hand that told me it was time. The stitches would have been out on November 8, which would have been the third day of the fourth Test, and I don't want to go into the Test less than a 100 per cent fit. I didn't want to hurt India's chances, and I made the decision last night.."
You can have a look at the timeline of Anil Kumble here.
He received the prestigious Arjuna Award in 1995. Kumble was one of the Wisden Cricketers of the year in 1996. The Government of India presented him with the Padma Shri in 2005.
India is proud of you ...
Good bye Jumbo...we will miss you...