August 9, 1990
A bespectacled and studious-looking Kumble makes his Test debut against England at Old Trafford
. Bowling first-change, takes 3 for 105 - his first wicket is Allan Lamb, snared at silly point for 38 - as England rack up 519. Goes wicket-less in the second innings, and does not play in the third Test. Does not get another opportunity for more than two years.
September 27-30, 1992
Delhi - a love affair begins
Playing for Rest of India against Delhi, Kumble takes 13 for 138 in the Irani Trophy game
, a performance that the selectors cannot ignore when the team for the tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa is selected shortly after. The Kotla, as only time will so beautifully tell, proves to be Kumble's fortress
as the years progress.
November 29, 1992
Welcome back the wily one
Back in the Test side after a long gap, his 6 for 53 - from 44 overs complete with 22 maidens - dismisses South Africa for 252 in their second innings during the second Test
in Johannesburg. Five of his victims are bowled, beaten either by his zip off the pitch or else frustrated into playing across the line by his accuracy. The match is drawn, but he proves he is here to stay.
Home is where the guile is
Plays his first home Test series, against England, and produces his first series-winning performance. Takes 21 wickets in three Tests
, and establishes himself as India's frontline spinner. Opens the bowling in the second Test
in Chennai - trapping Robin Smith leg-before for 17 - but it is his second innings' 6 for 64 that really leaves a mark. Admits that the first delivery he taught himself was the flipper, the lethal ball that tends to embrass the Test world's batting elite, and it is with this gem that he runs through England.
March 13-17, 1993
Zimbabwe no match
His eight wickets in the match - including 5 for 70 in the second innings - help India to an innings-and-13-run victory over Zimbabwe in a one-off Test
at the Kotla, Kumble crossing 50 wickets in the process, in only his 10th match. After helping force Zimbabwe to follow on, licks his lips, gives the ball a flip in his nimble hands, and takes centrestage.
November 27, 1993
Takes 6 for 12 against West Indies in Kolkata
, a new record for bowling figures by an Indian, one that remains unbeaten for a decade. In the process, wins India the Hero Cup.
January 20-22, 1994
Takes his first 10-wicket haul - 11 for 128 in his 14th Test - as India beat Sri Lanka in Lucknow by an innings and 119 runs. Bamboozles the batsmen on the third and fourth days.
Spin works in England
Joins English county side Northamptonshire with an eye on developing his variety and learning more about pitches ahead of India's tour to England in 1996. Sticks to his lower trajectory and faster speed for one-day matches but bowls slower in the Championship, turning the ball sideways. Takes 105 wickets at 20.40 apiece.
October 18, 1995
Hundred at home
Takes his 100th Test wicket, that of Martin Crowe, in his 21st Test
, in front of his home crowd in Bangalore. Complements his 4 for 39 in the first innings with 5 for 81 in the second, as New Zealand lose inside three days. His 100th, 300th and 400th wickets all come at this venue, to the immense pleasure of the supportive Bangalore fans.
November 29, 1996
In a gritty display of his sheer value to his team, contributes a fine 88, his highest Test score then, in a 161-run stand for the eight wicket with centurion Mohammad Azharuddin as India are crushed by 329 runs in the second Test
at the Eden Gardens. Is the last man out - beaten by a brilliant throw from Herschelle Gibbs - but receives a standing ovation.
One of Wisden's five
Is at the peak of his one-day career, finishing with 61 wickets at 20.24 and an economy rate of 4.06. Is the leading wicket-taker during the World Cup, held in Asia. Takes 105 Test wickets as well, and is named one of Wisden's Cricketers of the Year.
September 26, 1998
Double-hundred for the first time
With Gary Brent's wicket in Bulawayo, becomes the first spinner to take 200 wickets in one-day cricket. Is the seventh bowler in history and the second Indian to do so.
February 7, 1999
Height of the Kotla love affair
Becomes just the second man, after England's Jim Laker, to take all 10 wickets in an innings. That it comes against Pakistan, at home, adds to the brilliance of the feat. History is made, and India gain their first Test win
over Pakistan for 19 years.
October 20, 2000
Hors de combat
Misses the opening game of the Coca Cola Champions Trophy against Sri Lanka after aggravating a right shoulder injury caused by a fall several months earlier. Three months later the BCCI announces that Kumble, 30, will be operated on by South African orthopedic surgeon Mark Fergusson in Johannesburg, and will be out for at least four months.
May 12, 2002
Broken jaw, what broken jaw?
Nursing a broken jaw - heavily strapped up, with bands going around his jaw, over his head and across the back of it - takes the field on the third day of the fourth Test
at St. John's and sends down 14 numbing overs, dismissing Brian Lara lbw with one that rips from off. None can deny the efforts of Kumble, whose grit and resolve are there for all to see. The match ends in a tepid draw, and Kumble flies home - a hero, no less - to have his jaw sorted out.
August 26, 2002
After India have piled up 628 runs, takes 7 for 159 in the third Test against England at Headingley
to help India level the series.
December, 2003-January, 2004
Awesome in Australia
Gets a chance to play the second Test against Australia after Harbhajan Singh is injured, and delivers one of his best performances, taking 24 wickets over three Tests
as India draw the series. Inspired and inspirational on this tour, Kumble's spells in Adelaide
- ignore the figures, his 5 for 154 reins Australia in magnificently - and Sydney
- where he almost single-handedly bowls India to victory on a final day dominated by Steve Waugh's farewell - are among the best by an Indian overseas. Throughout the series, Kumble demonstrates that he can be as potent a strike bowler overseas as at home, and it is befitting that one colossus (Kumble) claims the other (Waugh) in a thrilling final day's play.
Injury catches up again
Is soon ruled out of the one-day series against Pakistan due to a shoulder injury - sustained in the series against Australia - not having healed sufficiently, but makes the Test squad.
April 16, 2004
Overseeing an overseas win
Four wickets on the fourth day of the third and final Test
at Rawalpindi script India's first-ever series win in Pakistan. With India's young pace brigade putting in a stunning performance on day one, Kumble is, surprisingly, left in the shadows. On the fourth day, however, he comes back for the kill, dealing swift, crushing blows to push the hosts to a defeat by an innings and 131 run. The series produces exciting cricket all the way and consistent performances from Kumble - who again tops the wickets tally for both sides - help India break the damning barrier of a first overseas series win in well over a decade.
October 6, 2004
With Simon Katich's wicket in his 85th Test
- against Australia in Bangalore, becomes the second Indian to take 400 wickets. Pumping his fists and losing himself in the embrace of his team-mates, before his home crowd, evokes a lasting image of a hero destined for this mark.
December 10, 2004
Goes past Kapil Dev as India's leading wicket-taker with the wicket of Mohammad Rafique, trapped in front of the stumps, on the opening day of the first Test
at the Bangabandhu Stadium. Needing just one wicket to overtake Kapil before the start of the match, takes two in two balls, but Mashrafe Mortaza safely defends the fifth ball of his 12th over. Accolades pour in from current and former cricketers alike, including a congratulatory message from Kapil himself.
A one-day misfit?
Is dropped from the one-day side to tour Zimbabwe after playing two games in the Indian Oil Cup in Sri Lanka. Asks if different standards are used to measure different players.
Tending to domestic matters
Returns to domestic first-class cricket after six years, in the Ranji Trophy season opener
in Delhi. Takes 3 for 86 in the first innings, as Karnataka restrict defending champions Railways to 323 before claiming the two points via a slender first-innings lead.
December 10-14, 2005
c Kumble b Kumble
Playing his 99th Test, takes 10 wickets for the eighth time in his career, and hands India a comprehensive 188-run victory over Sri Lanka in the second Test
at the Kotla. Goes past Muttiah Muralitharan as the bowler with the most caught-and-bowled dismissals with a stunning, session-turning return catch to dismiss Marvan Atapattu. Two more wickets on the final day signal a thumping win, and Kumble heads to Ahmedabad with the mantle of India's premier match-winner resting lightly on his shoulders.
July 2, 2006
Doing West Indies in West Indies
Bowls India to a history series victory in the Caribbean, 35 years after they last did so under Ajit Wadekar. Takes 6 for 78 to bowl West Indies out for 219 as they chase 269 at Sabina Park
August 23, 2006
Shoulder injury, an encore
A short stint with Surrey is cut shorter after he injures his shoulder. Is diagnosed with tendonitis in his right shoulder, which can only recover with rest, and so flies him out just five weeks after arriving in Kennington. Takes 26 wickets across all competitions.
September 3, 2006
Champions Trophy minus one champion
Is left out of India's Champions Trophy squad.
March 30, 2007
ODIs' loss is Tests' gain
Announces retirement from ODIs, but says will be available for Test matches. Finishes his career with 337 wickets at 30.89 in 271 ODIs. His last game is against Bermuda at the World Cup where he takes 3 for 38 in India's 257-run win
Doing what Warne never could
At The Oval
knocks up a maiden hundred, one 17 years and 118 matches in the coming. In the same match goes past Glenn McGrath's 563 Test wickets, moving to No. 3 on the all-time list to accentuate his role in spin's golden era.
November 8, 2007
One who will
After Rahul Dravid's resignation, and Sachin Tendulkar's refusal, is chosen as the Test captain for the Pakistan. The honour comes after 118 Tests. Will later be chosen to lead the team to the tour of Australia, which in time will prove to be the most controversial since the Bodyline series.
December 26, 2007
A Boxing Day surprise for Australia
Takes 5 for 84 on the first day of the Melbourne Test
to bowl Australia out for 343. The Indian batting falters twice, though, to lose the match by 337 runs. More disappointment follows in the controversial Sydney Test, but with a whirlwind of emotions running around keeps his cool and leads the team admirably - on and off the field. Also says the famous line after the Sydney Test
: "Only one team was playing with the spirit of the game."
January 17, 2008
After having bravely chosen to bat first on the WACA wicket, becomes the third man to reach 600 wickets when he claims Andrew Symonds's wicket on the second day of the Perth Test
April 3-5, 2008
Fifty not so nifty
The Ahmedabad Test
against South Africa marked the 50th time that Kumble and Harbhajan played together. However, Kumble reportedly was not impressed with the Motera track, and South Africa won inside three days.
April 11, 2008
Already struggling with injury, Kumble is ruled out of the Kanpur Test
against South Africa.
August 3, 2008
Comeback doesn't surprise Kumble
India win the second Test in Galle
, thereby leveling the series with one to play. "Its 1-1 and we need to assess the conditions at the P Sara Stadium, and then we will take a call," he says. "We're really confident of putting up a good show and if we repeat this performance we will get a good result." However, India lose the third Test just over a week later.
October 2, 2008
VRS? What VRS?
Shortly before the first Test against Australia, Kumble rubbishes
reports that seniors in the side are being forced into retirement by the BCCI and the selectors.
November 2, 2008
The end of an era
A wicketless performance in Bangalore, worsened by a shoulder injury, only increased the pressure on Kumble to hang his boots. After missing the second Test, he insisted he had more cricket left in him but decided in Delhi he had had enough. He announced his retirement late on the fifth afternoon. He ended his 132-Test career with 619 wickets to finish the third-highest wicket-taker behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne.