'I didn't realise that I had to show the great batsmen of the team how to get a hundred' - Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble scored a century against England at the Oval
Anil Kumble scored a century against England at the Oval
Kartik Iyer

Former Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble has hilariously stated that he showed the batting greats in the dressing room how to score a Test century, which happened to be the only ton by an Indian batsman on their 2007 Test tour of England.

Anil Kumble shared insights on his journey as a cricketer, including his century at the Oval, while interacting with Ravichandran Ashwin on the latter's YouTube show 'DRS With Ash'.

On being asked about his only Test ton, Anil Kumble termed it as a special feeling, as he was trying to achieve the milestone right from his debut and was able to achieve it only in his 117th Test match.

"The hundred certainly was very special. Because I tried it...tried, tried, tried from the first game, and I got in right in the 117th. So it was probably a guesswork for me as well. Guessing what the bowler would do, and then I got all the guesswork right in the 117th Test match."

Anil Kumble highlighted that the other team members were even more elated than him, with VVS Laxman almost falling off while cheering from the team balcony.

"More than me, if you look at the balcony, my teammates were extremely happy. I think Laxman just fell off celebrating my hundred."

Anil Kumble on the way he reached his hundred

Anil Kumble inside-edged Kevin Pietersen for a boundary to reach his milestone
Anil Kumble inside-edged Kevin Pietersen for a boundary to reach his milestone

Ashwin reminded Anil Kumble that he had got an inside-edge that went underneath the wicket-keeper's legs to bring up his century.

The dogged lower-order batsman responded that he had to take a chance considering that he just had the company of S Sreesanth, the No. 11 batsman, and couldn't afford to give the strike to him.

"I know. I knew that I had the last man standing there. Sreesanth was the last man there. I had scored almost 30 runs with him. And I knew that they had taken the third or the fourth new ball, I don't remember. So I knew that I had to get the runs and not allow Sreesanth to have strike."

Anil Kumble revealed that as soon as the ball had gone to the boundary after taking the inside edge of Kevin Pietersen's bowling, he had raised his arms to celebrate his hundred, not giving any chance to the umpire Steve Bucknor to signal it as byes.

"So I was trying to make sure that I go after KP and probably I stepped out too early. And KP just threw it really wide. And I had a swing. I knew I had taken the inside edge and before even Steve Bucknor thought that that was byes, I put my hand up, saying I have scored my hundred."


Anil Kumble even reminded Ashwin that he was the only Indian centurion in that series.

"In fact, I was the only century-maker in that series. Which is very surprising, if you look at the kind of quality and talent that the team had."

The current Director of Cricket at Kings XI Punjab even disclosed that he had mentioned just before the Test match in the dressing room that none of the Indian batsmen had got a ton on the tour, without realising that he would be the one to register the first century.

"In fact, I made a comment before the start of the Test match. When we sat down for the team meeting, suggesting that, look, it is a bit of a disappointment that with this kind of ability in this room, we still don't have a hundred in this series. And I didn't realise that I had to show the great batsman of the team how to get a hundred."

Anil Kumble scored a century in the 3rd Test of India's tour to England in 2007, played at the Oval. He scored an unbeaten 110 runs and was involved in a 73-run last-wicket partnership with S Sreesanth that helped him reach the milestone.

India went on to draw the Test match, with Anil Kumble being the Man of the Match. The team ended up winning the three-match series 1-0.

Edited by Sai Krishna


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