Anil Kumble was the spearhead of the Indian bowling attack for more than a decade and half. The 6 ft 1 inch tall, lean and calm cricketer had scintillating charisma in his fingers.
‘Jumbo’, as he was fondly called, was known to have consistent performance graph with curves only to reach new heights.
Kumble traded the leg spinner's proverbial yo-yo for the spear, as his ball rushed through the air rather than hanging in it and comes with a kick rather than a kink as it hits the pitch.
Background and early achievements
Kumble made his first-class debut forKarnataka againstHyderabad on 30 November 1989. But his career kick started when he single-handedly made the Rest of India team victorious by his impressive figures of 13/138, making his way for the twin tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe.
It was during this 1992 India tour of South Africa that he established himself as a quality and magical spinner when he finished his tour as the highest wicket taker from Indian side which include his 6/53 figures in the second test in Johannesburg, a ground known to favour fast bowlers.
Later that year when England toured India, Kumble took 21 wickets in three tests and was adjudged Man of the Match in the last test.
Rise to glory and high points in career
Kumble has claimed every Indian bowling record. His googly and subtle variations in flight were always a nightmare for the batsman.
In 1999, he became the second bowler ever to scalp ten wickets in a test innings, a feat only achieved by Jim Laker in 1956.
Kumble's phenomenal sportsmanship was proved in Antigua in 2002 when he bandaged his fractured jaw and returned to the field to deliver a stirring spell. His figures of 6/12 against West Indies in the Hero Cup in 1993 still remain as the best ever individual performance by an Indian bowler.
As a Captain
Due to his never give up attitude, he was named India's test skipper in 2007. He led India for 14 tests, winning three, losing five with the remaining six resulted in draw.
He began his tenure with a 1-0 series win over arch rivals Pakistan in a three match series. It was India's first win against Pakistan at home in 27 years. He also led India to a memorable victory over Australia in Perth in 2008.
A career spanning 18 splendid and distinguished years, the Padma Shri and Arjun Award winner played 132 tests and 271 ODIs, picking 619 and 337 wickets respectively.
The veteran bowler retired as the third highest wicket-taker in tests, behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne.
Anil Kumble bid goodbye to the ODIs after India’s disappointing exit at the 2007 ICC World Cup in the Caribbean Islands. While he continued to play the longer format of the game, he retired a year later from international cricket mid-way through the third test against Australia in Delhi on 28 october 2008.
Following his retirement, he was appointed as the Chairman of ICC Cricket Committee on 12 October 2012.
Kumble was appointed as the head coach of the Indian cricket team in June 2016 and served as same for about a year. Even in his short tenure as a coach, Kumble did miracles and guided India to number one spot in the test ranking.
India beat New Zealand 3–0 in the Test series, followed by a 4-0 win against England. India went on to dominate on their home soil which marked as India’s 19-match unbeaten record in tests.
India also registered two one-day series wins under Kumble’s tenure, as India defeated New Zealand in a five one-day match series by 3–2, and England by 2-1.