The Mumbai genius celebrates his 28th birthday on April 24 and Kumble shared his thoughts about his teammate in an exclusive chat with Thatscricket.com prior to his departure to South Africa for a check up with Dr Mark Fergusson.
What do you think of Sachin the cricketer?
I cannot express it one sentence (laughs). He has immense talent and the best part is that he has put that talent to maximum use. I am very privileged to have played with him and seen most of the runs that he has scored. I am also extremely happy to have shared the same dressing room.
What do you think of Sachin as a person?
He is a very reserved person and generally keeps to himself. He is very determined committed and doesn't show too many emotions. He just goes about doing his job.
Which innings of his stands out in your mind?
World Cup 1999, when he came back after attending his father's funeral and scored a century against Kenya. It was an important match and Sachin's approach showed his character and commitment to the game. It is indeed remarkable for a person suffering such a personal loss to come and play such a determined knock. In fact there are a lot of instances that can be recalled as he has gone about achieving his milestones. He has borne the batting responsibility for so long. It is a huge burden and he has carried it very non-chalantly on his shoulders.
Is it right to compare Sachin with Brian Lara
It is really not correct to compare anybody for that matter. In fact, it is wrong to compare any two individuals and say one is right and the other is wrong. Sachin and Lara have their own styles, but Sachin has proved to be much better in one area and this is consistency. That to me is very important. Sachin has proved that he can score runs anywhere and under any pressure situations. It is not easy to score over 17,000 international (Test and One-dayers) runs.
Do you have any special message for Sachin on his 28th birthday?
I wish him all the very best and hope he continues to perform well for the country. We have the same goal of winning a series abroad and hopefully we can achieve it in the near future.