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‘He had to unlearn all his skills’ – The pressure on Srinath during Kumble’s ten-for

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Anil Kumble, the legendary India leg-spinner, has recalled his famous 10-for against Pakistan, and the role Javagal Srinath played in it.

Kumble took 10-74 in the second Test of Pakistan’s tour of India in 1999, claiming all the wickets in the second innings as Pakistan chased 420. It was only the second instance in Test cricket of a bowler taking all available wickets in an innings, after Jim Laker ran through Australia in Manchester in 1956.

The former captain recalled how, when he was on the verge of the record, the pressure was on his teammates to ensure they didn’t take the final wicket.

“After tea, I got 7, 8 and 9,” Kumble told Pommie Mbangwa in an Instagram chat. “And finished my over and Javagal Srinath had to bowl one, that was probably the toughest he had to bowl.

“He had to unlearn all his skills and bowl wide. But I didn’t ask him, believe me. I thought, ‘Let’s give Wasim a single.’ But I thought I had to get one that over, because it would have been embarrassing to ask one more. I was just destined. One down in a series, against Pakistan, just so special.”

Kumble also recalled how the wicket-taking was tiring, but he carried on as he “had a great chance” to better his own best-returns. “It’s like it’s happened yesterday for me. It was special. It was pressure because Pakistan came to India after so long,” he said. “We had to win at Kotla to square the series. I think I am most effective when the wicket is two-paced and there is uneven bounce.

“Till lunch, Pakistan had got off to a great start. I knew it was a matter of one wicket. After lunch, I changed ends. I got 1, then 2, and then it went on and on. I bowled non-stop from lunch to tea, but I was getting tired. I knew I had a great chance to better my previous best because I was six on six.”

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