Kumble storms into the 500-wicket club
Three months ago, Anil Kumble became the second Indian bowler, after Kapil Dev, to play 100 Tests. Today he became the first to take 500 Test wickets, and joins Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan, Glenn McGrath and Courtney Walsh in an exclusive club.
In a country that worships stellar batsmen, Kumble's matchwinning exploits are soon forgotten and unfavourable comparisons are made with other leading bowlers. But the fact is that Kumble, in his 105th Test, is the second-fastest to the 500 mark in terms of matches played, ahead of Warne, McGrath and Walsh. The only bowler to do it in fewer matches is Murali, who achieved the feat in 87 Tests.
As a matchwinning bowler, Kumble is unparalleled in India. The number of wickets he has in Tests that the team has won is nearly double that of Harbhajan Singh, his closest competitor. Twenty-seven of his 31 five-fors and all eight of his ten-wicket hauls have come in matches that India have either drawn or won.
|Anil Kumble||35||240||18.67/ 45.77|
|Harbhajan Singh||22||122||20.55/ 48.81||BS Chandrasekhar||14||98||19.27/ 45.41|
|Bishan Singh Bedi||17||97||17.65/ 54.03|
|Kapil Dev||24||90||18.3/ 45.27|
|Wickets||Taken in Test no.||Average at the time||5w/10w|
George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo