Anil Kumble has decided to retire from all forms of cricket after the ongoing test match. The injuries sustained by Kumble on the fourth day of the match seems to have sped up the decision or maybe he’s simply too tired to continue any further. But the fact remains, we are bidding farewell to two of India’s most illustrious captains in this series.
For most Indians, an Indian spin attack without Kumble is unimaginable. For a long time, I would be unconsciously hoping for Kumble to come and bail us out when India goes wicketless. But on a more serious note, I was hoping that Kumble would retire by the end of the series on a winning note. This was a shocker still. But what better place for the Great man to retire than the Kotla where the leggie bamboozled the Pakistani team for a Perfect 10 !!
It was accepted long back that Kumble would always be second to a more illustrious Shane Warne and Kumble too knew this. He never was blessed with the genius of a Warne or the guile of a Muralitharan. But what made Kumble achieve such heights was his big heart and his perseverance.
Looking back, Kumble was never involved in any scandal or a public spat , never breached any code of conduct nor was he ever involved in a drunken brawl. Always a great ambassador of the game, Kumble played his cricket the hard way.
For me, my best memory of ‘Jumbo’ would be that LBW of Brian Lara when Kumble had returned to bowl with a fractured jaw. That was probably the only LBW that Kumble got without appealing vehemently, because he was bandaged. On one knee, Kumble only looked at the umpire in an anguished appeal…. and got the wicket.