Monday, November 03, 2008

Thank you for all the memories

Monday, November 03, 2008

After nearly 15 years of watching him run back to his run up; skip, hop and fire some googlies, it’s finally time to bid adieu to Jumbo.

Easily one of the most humble as well as gritty players on the field, he never made his presence felt since he wasn’t the flamboyant kind. You would never see him lead any of the endorsements on TV, yet when it came to the field, he’d take charge and always deliver (pun intended). I guess that’s why it came as a sort of surprise when he quietly decided to say good bye to the game.

He was the learner, the studious kind with the determination to conquer any batsman who challenged him. He seemed like the checked shirt clad problem cracker in your IIT-JEE coaching class who would never get perturbed by any thing thrown his way.

Never a huge turner of the ball, his biggest strength was his line and length, deadly accurate. The number of times the batsmen missed and were bowled or caught leg before the wicket is simply difficult to count. And then there was the faster one. Kumble could easily pass off as a medium pace bowler. No wonder Nayan Mongia( India’s then wicketkeeper) started wearing a helmet while keeping up to his deliveries during the late nineties.

If asked about the three greatest performances of Anil Kumble, I’ll list them as:

Firstly, his awesome spell in the finals of the Hero Cup. At the end of it, he came out with figures of 6/12 against the West Indies. Here he just tore through the West Indies middle order.

Then the 10 wicket haul against the Pakistani Team at the Ferozshah Kotla. There was a little controversy surrounding this performance, the reason being the first wicket of Shahid Afridi was not out. However, such is the game of cricket. It’s about capitalizing on the opportunities that come your way. And capitalize he did. Only the second bowler ever to achieve such a feat.

And of course thirdly, one of the most memorable photos to have ever been shown on Indian Television. A bandaged clad Kumble jubilant after capturing the wicket of Lara

This particular performance in the West Indies wasn’t really anything spectacular as far as the result of the game was concerned nor did it bother the statisticians much, but the amount of patriotism that it spread throughout the country was extraordinary. Kumble was suddenly a war hero.

Over the years, he just kept on picking up wickets here and there. Little did one realize that he has accumulated 619 of those.

It was a very tough decision, especially when you have performed for 18 years and been so competitive," he said at the presentation ceremony after the match had ended in a draw. But the body helped me make the decision. This injury also helped."His departure from international cricket couldn’t have been more fitting.
-Anil Kumble, Jumbo.

Thank you for the memories!

5 comments:

Ja-Akaas

Mongia while keeping to Kumble starting using the helmet not because of the pace rather it was enormous bounce that he could extract from Indian pitches ,infact it wont be wrong to say that Mongia s career was cut short partly due to these nastily bouncing deliveries of Kumble.

Would always be remembered for giving more than 100% on field, he was never a good fielder ,He hardly knew how to dive (he used to dive on the ball rather than diving towards it) but still his commitment while fielding can easily beat even the best fielders.

A nice post

Anantha Krishna

I love the 100 he made at the oval.
I liked the "moustached" geeky kumble more...

Rishabh Kaul

Jakas: Point taken, should have mentioned the bit bout his bounce. Thanks. However, his pace was also one of the reason, when a bowler is charging up to at 100 km/hour, you have to take precautions

Anantha
Obviously, one of the better test tai enders we've had.

vineet pandey

Used to dive on both knees. :)
It's the coming of the end of an era.

Rishabh Kaul

It truly is the coming of the end of an era.

As Aravind said, "We lost a very efficient medium pacer today"

 
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