Capt. Kumble scales peak 600

Published: Thursday, January 17, 2008, 17:55 [IST]
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Kumble earns 600 Test wickets

Perth: For Indian skipper Anil Kumble the second day's play against Australia at WACA turned out to be a double delight.

His astute leadership and fine marshalling of his seamers not only helped India bowl out Aussies to their lowest first innings score in a home Test (Sri Lanka bowled them out for 207 in Darwin in 2004) in four years and gain a sizeable first innings lead, but also achieved a personal milestone of becoming the first Indian and the third in the world to attain the mark of 600 Test wickets.

The 37-year-old Kumble got his 600th wicket in his 124th Test, when he got rid of dangerman Andrew Symonds in the post-tea session on the second day to join legendary spinners Aussie Shane Warne and Lankan Muthiah Muralitharan in the unique and elite club.

What's more, Kumble has reached the 600-mark quicker than Warne, who took 126 Test to reach this tally.

The 600th wicket would be remembered by Kumble for long as it came amid high drama.

A short-pitched quicker one took the edge of Symonds bat, deflected off Dhoni's glove and popped up to his Karnataka-mate Rahul Dravid at first slip, who took a tumbling catch. After vociferous appeals, umpire Asad Rauf took his own time and upheld the appeal. Kumble could not hide his jubilation as he clenched his fists, punched the air, before he was mobbed by team-mates and the crowd gave him a standing ovation.

He is now India's leading wicket-taker, with Kapil Dev a distant second with 434 wickets.

In the matches he has played for India, Kumble has taken 600 of the 1960 wickets India have taken, and over a third of the team's wickets at home.

The matchwinner for India, Kumble's prodigious capacity to bear pain was proved in Antigua in 2002 when he bandaged his fractured jaw to deliver a stirring spell.

He also has a unique record of being the only Indian and second bowler in the world after England's Jim Laker to claim all ten wickets in an innings when he achieved the feat against Pakistan at New Delhi in 1999.

He has so far taken 35 five wicket hauls and eight ten wicket hauls in 124 matches.

Kumble got his 100th wicket in the 21st Test, 200 in 47th, 300 in 66th, 400 in 85th, 500 in 105th, went past Glenn McGrath's 563 in August 2007 and entered the 600-club in 124th Test.

The skipper was pleased to bring up the milestone with the important wicket of Symonds, ending an Australian recovery.

Kumble has enjoyed some of the best form of his Test career in recent years and said his form had improved since he recovered from shoulder problems in 2000-2001.

"I'm probably more relaxed and all the experience I have had in different conditions, I have used that," he said.

Gilchrist said the achievement was a great credit to Kumble.

"He's got very clever with his experience and those subtle changes in flight, his position on the crease," he added.

Only Sri Lankan off-spinner Murali, with 723 victims, and retired Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne, with 708, have taken more wickets in Test cricket.


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