New Delhi: If we talk about the greatest match-winners India has ever produced, anyone would surely pick someone from Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar or Kapil Dev, but according to Indian spin great Harbhajan Singh, it was Anil Kumble, who was his spin partner for a very long time in Indian cricket.
Kumble, who with 956 Internal scalps is the leading wicket-taker for India, was a bowler who hardly ever missed getting a breakthrough for the team at the most crucial moments of the game.
His most impressive performance came in the year 1999 against Pakistan when he bowled one of the most wonderful spells of world cricket and picked up al 10 wickets in the second innings of the match.
The Karnataka stalwart hardly ever depended on anyone to create pressure on the batsmen to pick up wickets on the other end. He had teh ability to run through the entire batting line-up of the opponents with his googlies, flippers and faster ones.
“In my view, Anil bhai was the greatest ever who played for India. He’s probably the greatest match-winner India has ever produced. People used to say he didn’t spin the ball, but he showed that if you had the heart, you could get batsmen out regardless of whether the ball spun or not,” Harbhajan said.
Fondly known as “Jumbo” by his teammates, he went on to be a great leader for team India as he not only captained the team well enough but also led them through the “Monkey gate” during the infamous 2008 Syndey Test.
Indian team showed great character under his leadership as after losing the first match, they went on to win the subsequent Perth Test.
“If anyone has half the competitiveness Anil Bhai had, he would become a champion. I’m lucky to have played with him for so many years. He was an unbelievably committed player,” concluded Bhajji.