Former Indian captains praise Anil Kumble

Published: Sunday, March 12, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Former Indian captains have congratulated leg-spinner Anil Kumble for completing 500 Test wickets during the second Test against England in Mohali.

"There is no doubt that he is the best spinner we have and we are all proud and delighted at his achievement," said Kapil Dev after Kumble reached the mark on Saturday with Steve Harmison's wicket.

Kumble, 35, joined Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne (659), Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan (600), Australian paceman Glenn McGrath (542) and West Indian fast bowler Courtney Walsh (519) in the 500-wicket club.

"He is very focused, committed and determined. The effort that he has put in is simply unparalleled," said Kapil, who led India to a World Cup triumph in 1983.

"He has achieved something that players only dream of," added the famous all-rounder, who has played for India alongside Kumble.

Legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar felt Kumble was always under-rated because he likes to keep a low profile.

"Kumble is not the one to promote himself so he will not make any tall claims like having developed a mystery delivery just to get some headlines," the former skipper wrote in a column in Hindustan Times.

"The only headlines he wants is when he rips through the batting as he did here to stop England in its tracks."

Bishan Bedi too was full of praise. "He is an asset for the side and deserved to get to the mark," said Bedi, who was the most successful Indian spinner with 266 wickets before Kumble got past him.

"Kumble has been criticised for not turning the ball much but his critics will see the point now," said Bedi, who led India in the 1970s.

Sourav Ganguly, India's most successful Test captain with 21 wins, also congratulated the leg-spinner. "This is a fantastic achievement and he truly deserved to have performed such a feat," he said.

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