It was one of those special moments, all players came and lifted me: Kumble recalls his historic 10-wicket haul

New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) India’s legendary spin bowler Anil Kumble has recalled his historic all-10 wicket haul against Pakistan, saying that it was one of those special moments when all the players came and lifted him and that’s when he realised the magnitude of what had happened.
Kumble sprung his magic against Pakistan on February 7, 1999, in the Delhi Test to become only the second bowler after England’s Jim Laker (1956) in the history of the game to take all 10 wickets in a single Test innings.
“We had to win the Test match against Pakistan, we had lost the first Test match. At lunchtime, Pakistan were cruising at 100 for no loss. So it was all up to the spinners, the bowlers to do the job. Things started to happen, and everything was unfolding right in front of my eyes. So it was one of those special moments, and all the players came and lifted me. That’s when I realised the magnitude of what had happened,” said Kumble in the latest episode of CRED’s The Long Game.
“Four days later, there was a Test championship, and we played Pakistan again, and I struggled to get one wicket. That’s the beauty of the game. The takeaway for me was, you’re on top one day, and then you have to start again from the start. Cricket is like life itself. You just have to stick to that process and be on it all the time,” he added.
Kumble has been an indomitable Indian cricketer whose legacy as a lethal leg-spinner and relentless fighter precedes him.
In 2002, the leg-spinner while playing against West Indies in Antigua, was hit on his chin and injured during batting. But he emerged from the pavilion with his face bandaged ready to bowl. Kumble bowled 14 overs and dismissed West Indies great Brian Lara while bowling with a broken jaw.
“I went in because of the second new ball and I got hit. I continued to bat so I was there to protect a batter. The only thing that I was asked, or I was instructed by the doctors was to sort of keep it in place. So that’s why I had that bandage. In the previous series that we played, we had lost and that was still ranking in my mind. And here, having posted almost 600 runs, or maybe more, I was obviously robbed of an opportunity to go out there and bowl,” the legendary spinner said.
“I always believed that my shoulder was fine to bowl, and I should go in and bowl. So my shoulder was absolutely perfect. When I look back, I don’t even think this is a heroic act or act of courage. No, I mean, the job for me was to bowl and win matches for India, irrespective of what hurdles or hindrances that one may have. It’s never about complaining, just go out there and then commit to it, things will work out,” he added.
Unlike other classical leg-spinners, Kumble was an unconventional bowler as he used to bowl fast.
“This is a photograph of me as a 14-year-old after winning a trophy for the national high school that I played for. I was an unconventional spinner, unorthodox because I used to bowl fast. When I played, I think there were a lot of suggestions saying, ‘I don’t think you can win outside of India,’ because I was not the classical leg spinner,” the former India captain said.
“So, yes, I had the challenge of proving everyone wrong, because whenever I picked wickets, it was not just the skill that I had, but it was sort of attributed to the pitch or the conditions. I kept at it, and I was determined to prove myself. As a sportsman or as a cricketer, as a bowler, one needs to adjust, and then you do evolve,” he added.

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