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'If DRS had been there, I would have got the 10-for earlier' - Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble took a 10-for against Pakistan at Delhi in 1999
Anil Kumble took a 10-for against Pakistan at Delhi in 1999
Kartik Iyer
Modified 01 Aug 2020, 10:29 IST

Former Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble believes that he would have taken the 10-wicket haul in the Delhi Test against Pakistan much earlier, had DRS been available at the time.

Anil Kumble shared various experiences of his cricketing life including the 10-for against Pakistan while interacting with Ravichandran Ashwin on the latter's YouTube show 'DRS With Ash'.

Ashwin asked Anil Kumble how his feelings were while waiting on 9 wickets, with people trying to create the atmosphere for him to get the 10-for and Javagal Srinath even admonishing Sadagoppan Ramesh for attempting a catch off his bowling.

The wily leg-spinner responded that he never felt that he would get all the 10 wickets and was just looking at achieving his best figures.

"When I took six out of six, there was a tea break. So when I came back, I was a bit tired. Because I had bowled from lunch to tea, right throughout that spell. And at tea, I realised that there is a chance for me to get better than what I have done before. I never realised that I will get all 10."

Anil Kumble recalled that he had got his eighth and ninth scalps off the last couple of deliveries of the over.

"I don't think you go into a game thinking you are going to get all 10. Although you try and prepare that way, saying that, how do I bowl from No 1 to No 11 in the team? But you never realise that you will get all 10. So eight and nine happened with the fifth and sixth balls of that over."

Anil Kumble also thanked the crowd for their blessings that helped him achieve the milestone.

"And then when I completed that over and went to my third man position, people around that, in the stands, all of them asked me not to worry and that I will get all 10. So the blessings came from the stands."

The Karnataka leg-spinner acknowledged that it might have been a very difficult proposition for his statemate Javagal Srinath to bowl a full over of wide deliveries to present an opportunity for him to take the last wicket.

"And I didn't need to have a word with Sri at all. Everybody knew that they were all trying to create an atmosphere where I would pick up all 10. And Sri bowled that over, I think it must have been the most difficult over for Srinath."
"As a bowler, it is very difficult to consistently tell your mind that you need to bowl wide. It's not easy. Because you are constantly trained to bowl at the stumps or get wickets. And here you are trying hard not to."

Anil Kumble admitted that he was probably lucky that the ball was slightly away from Ramesh else the latter might have held on to the catch, despite the other teammates shouting and asking him to drop it.

"And knowing Ramesh, I don't think he deliberately did that. He was not even aware. He was going all out for the catch. And I remember the fielders around him screaming and asking him to drop the catch. And I guess for me the ball was slightly further away from Ramesh. Otherwise he would have probably taken the catch."

Anil Kumble also revealed that he had planned to give Wasim Akram a single to get Waqar Younis on strike but the Pakistan captain had no intention of exposing the No. 11 batsman to the marauding leg-spinner.

"When I came back to bowl the next over, I realised that Wasim Akram was on strike. And he had been batting for a while. So I wanted Waqar on strike. Because I thought that was the easier wicket there, and give Wasim a single. So I pushed mid-on back, mid-off back, thinking that Wasim will take a single and get Waqar on strike. But I realised after two balls that Wasim is not going to take a single."

With the realisation that he had to dismiss Akram in that over itself, Anil Kumble managed to bamboozle the Pakistan left-hander with a spinning leg-break that he edged to VVS Laxman at short leg.

"So I got everyone up and I said, 'Look, if I have to take this 10, it has to be Wasim. And in this over'. Because you can't ask Sri to do another over again. It would be really embarrassing. It was one of those things where Wasim proudly didn't play for the spin. It spun and I got the inside edge and Laxman took a brilliant catch at short leg. So, yes, it was a team effort."

Anil Kumble on any favouritism from umpire Jayaprakash

Anil Kumble is the second bowler in Test cricket to have taken 10 wickets in an inning
Anil Kumble is the second bowler in Test cricket to have taken 10 wickets in an inning

Ashwin reminded Anil Kumble that when he had taken the final wicket he had run backward, making the former believe that the leg-spinner was going to lift umpire Jayaprakash.

The India off-spinner even recollected that one day he had met umpire Jayaprakash at the clubhouse of KSCA, where the latter was giving his visiting cards that had all the photos of the 10 wickets that Anil Kumble had taken to people.

Anil Kumble acknowledged that he had seen that visiting card, while dismissing any suggestions of bias in his favour considering the two of them were from the same city.

"It's pretty strange. I guess everybody wanted to be a part of the event. And maybe Jay felt that it was something special for him. And I don't think you would want the umpire to celebrate your wickets. I know there has been a lot of talk about Jay being from Bangalore. But then umpires...I think it's rubbish when you start attributing wickets to the, or bias, to the umpire."

Ashwin concurred with Anil Kumble that there were no debatable decisions and had there been DRS, it would have proved that.

"If there was DRS, everything was out. It was clean out."

Anil Kumble opined that had the review system been available at that time, he would have achieved the 10-wicket haul much earlier in the match.

"If there was DRS, I would have probably gotten the 10 earlier. That's how I look at it."

In the 1999 Delhi Test, Pakistan had reached a score of 101 for no loss in pursuit of the victory target of 420 runs when Anil Kumble ran through their batting line-up. The leg-spinner returned figures of 10/74 as Pakistan was bowled out for 207 to lose the match by 212 runs.

Published 01 Aug 2020, 10:29 IST
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