When one talks about India’s greatest match winners in the past 2-3 decades, the first name which pops up is perhaps Sachin Tendulkar. But unanimously, Anil Kumble comes a close second, ahead of even the likes of VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid. Ignoring the stats, it is his ability to get crucial breakthroughs when things seem bleak was one of the most revered qualities of Anil Kumble.
Steaming in like a medium pacer, Kumble was not the greatest turner of the ball. But even the most subtle of variations is enough to make a difference, and that differentiated him from two other giant spinners of international bowling during his time- Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan.
Let's take a look at 10 Interesting and unknown facts about "The Jumbo" Anil Kumble:
1. Anil Kumble was born to K N Krishna Swamy and Saroja and is married to Chethana Ramatheertha. He married Chethana after her divorce and has a son Mayas and two daughters Aaruni and Svasti from Chethana’s previous marriage.
2. Kumble went to Holy Saint English School and completed his schooling from National High School in Bangalore. He didn’t let cricket disrupt his graduation and completed a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College of Engineering.
3. All Kumble wanted to do in his childhood was to play cricket. ‘Jumbo’ joined Young Cricketers club at a tender age of 13.
4. The achievement of taking 10 wickets in an innings was commemorated by naming a traffic circle in Bangalore after him.
5. He was named Jumbo by his teammates not just because he was a tough bowler to face but also because his feet are quite big.
6. Kumble held the record of taking his first 50 wickets in only 10 matches, which was later broken by Ravichandran Ashwin who performed the feat in 9 matches.
7. Kumble as a batsman proved that he was a match winner for India by adding 52 runs for the ninth wicket and helping the team chase the target of 216 runs in the 'Titan Cup' against Australia, along with Javagal Srinath in October 1996.
8. The 45-year-old is the 3rd highest wicket taker in the history of Test cricket after Shane Watson and Muttiah Muralitharan. He is the 2nd Indian bowler to capture 400 Test wickets after Kapil Dev.
9. Kumble was bestowed with the prestigious Arjuna Award in 1995. He was one of the Wisden Cricketers of the year in the year 1996. The Government of India presented ‘Jumbo’ with the Padma Shri in 2005.
10. He is only the 2nd bowler after England‘s Jim Laker to scalp all 10 wickets in a test innings. The 10 for 74 against Pakistan at the Feroze Shah Kotla in 1998 is hailed as the second best “Bowling performance of all time” by Wisden.