Goodbye Anil

No more straight ones, no more forehead wiping, and no more Anil.

The man is gone.

There will never be another Kumble.

It is not possible.

Being a legspinner is hard enough, but to play at his level for this long, without a ripping leg break is super human.

It’s like a porn star having a small dick.

Or a porn star having no breasts.

It just doesn’t happen.

Somehow Anil made it work.

That takes a special man, a great man.

To rise above all the crap that goes on in Indian cricket and be a genuine match winner for over 100 tests is amazing.

He was written off so many times, but something in him just rose above it all.

And that is why he is a champion.

He wasn’t exciting, not even to a leg spinner, but he still won matches and contributed to his country winning games, not many players can say they did that.

Compared with the other great test spinners of his generation, he looks average.

But like a boxer without a knockout punch, he is overlooked and underrated.

Sure Murali and Warne had the weapons, but Kumble could punch all day, or for all 5 days.

He was never going to win as many fights as the other two, but he never stopped punching.

I would say in the history of test cricket there has been hundreds of bowlers more talented than Kumble.

Yet he has out lived, out bowled, and out muscled almost all of them.

That is a special player.

That is Anil Kumble.

And test cricket was lucky to have him.


0 thoughts on “Goodbye Anil

  1. CricketWithoutBalls says:

    Batsman: Choose your next ball carefully, Kumble. They may be your last as a bowler.Kumble: [to himself: thinking] “hmm, boundary or sixer”?[Kumble bowls a straight one and batsman misses it]Messenger: No bowler, spinner or pacer , no man threatens a batsman with a straight one![Kumble bowls a straight one and this time batsman lost his middle stump]Kumble: Boundary or Sixer,you can see plenty of them from there. Oh, I’ve chosen my next ball carefully, Batsman. Perhaps you should have done the same!Batsman: This is blasphemy! This is madness!Kumble: Madness…? THIS… IS… LEGSPIN!

  2. 12th Man says:

    I know you have a penchant for leg-spinners. But it is surprising to see your tribute to a pseudo leg-spinner. In the midst of India-bashing pom and antipodean cricket blogs, its so nice to see an aussie paying tributes to an Indian warhorse. Keep up the good work.

  3. horatius says:

    12th man, Anil Kumble was almost the polar opposite of the quintessential Indian cricketer. Sure, he had the quiet dignity of some of the unsung Indian greats, but he had a quiet fire in him. He was the reason India was unstoppable at home. Take Anil Kumble out of the lineup and half of India’s victories at home in the last 15 years disappear.

  4. Anonymous says:

    A final curiosity: If it needed any confirmation, take a look at Brian Lara’s head-to-head batting averages against some leading spin bowling since 1998:vs M Muralitharan 124.0vs SK Warne 74.0vs SCG MacGill 110.3vs Danish Kaneria 86.7vs N Boje 212.0vs A Kumble 22.3Greatest batsman of our generation has trouble reading the straighter one. why?

  5. jshaw says:

    Anon: Lara has a low avg against kumble bcos venkatapathy raju confused him with sharp turn at the other end.

  6. ghurram says:

    Nicky Boje ? Sure you must be joking on your comparison lists !

  7. Jrod says:

    ghurram, glad you pointed that out.