7 Moments of brilliance in the last 20 years which every Indian fan remembers
Cricket has always been a game of numbers. Individuals light up cricket arena with their stupendous performances, which gives an opportunity to fans and statisticians to rake up more numbers.
There are some records which seem impossible to break. Yet, there are some champions, who produce performances making the entire cricket fraternity sit back and applaud.
Indian cricket has been fortunate to have witnessed some all-time legends in the last couple of decades. Be it the centuries, wickets or milestones, an Indian cricket fan has seen it all. But there were a few moments of magic which were hard to forget and it will stay for decades to come. These moments will inspire the next generation to follow the pursuit of excellence.
Anil Kumble's 10 wickets haul in one innings against Pakistan
India and Pakistan were playing a Test series in 1999 after 10 years. Amidst the political turmoil between the 2 countries, cricket was seen as a unifier. India had a heartbreak in Chennai, losing by 12 runs after Sachin Tendulkar's masterclass of 136. The series was on the line when the spotlight shifted to Ferozshah Kotla in Delhi.
India batted first and posted a decent 252. Pakistan got bowled out for 172 giving India a handy lead of 80. India, in their second essay, batted well to score 339, eventually asking Pakistan to chase an impossible 420 on a wearing pitch. Pakistan got off to a blazing start with Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi putting up 101 runs for the first wicket.
The introduction of Anil Kumble dramatically changed the proceedings for the hosts and he dismissed Shahid Afridi and Ijaz Ahmed off successive deliveries. He then accounted for Inzamam and Yousuf in a space of 3 balls. Moin Khan and Saeed Anwar were next to go. Even though Salim Malik resisted for some time, he was Kumble's 7th victim. Mushtaq Ahmed and Saqlain Mushtaq were bamboozled in successive balls. Even though Waqar Younis tried his best to slog Javagal Srinath and deny Kumble from getting 10 wickets, destiny had different plans. Wasim Akram was caught by VVS Laxman in forward short leg to give Kumble his 10th wicket, what he calls as the "Perfect 10".
India won the match by 212 runs and it was time for a celebration. Anil Kumble, who was already a star, was given a hero's welcome in his hometown, Bengaluru. One of the streets near Bengaluru's famous MG Road was named "Anil Kumble Circle". He even received a car from KSCA which had the number "KA-10 N 10" as a gift.
History was made in Indian cricket and even though Kumble's 10-74 came second to Jim Laker's 10-53, every Indian cricket fan has a smile on his face when people talk about this sensational spell from Kumble. The fact that the feat was achieved against Pakistan, made the achievement even more special.