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Waugh salutes quiet performer Kumble

Steve Waugh on Thursday said the veteran spinner may not have been a dreaded headline-hunter like Shane Warne but his quiet rise to prominence is no less admirable.

cricket Updated: Jan 18, 2008 03:16 IST

Lavishing praise on Anil Kumble for becoming only the third bowler to achieve 600 Test wickets, former Australian skipper Steve Waugh on Thursday said the veteran spinner may not have been a dreaded headline-hunter like Shane Warne but his quiet rise to prominence is no less admirable.

"Any fair-minded cricket fan would have enjoyed Anil Kumble's 600th Test wicket even though it was Australia's potential saviour Andrew Symonds," Waugh wrote in his column for the 'Daily Telegraph' after the second day's play in the ongoing third Test.

"Kumble has taken 600 wickets with a fraction of the publicity afforded to Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan but he has been a much admired performer among his rivals," he added.

Waugh said Kumble has never been the talked-about bowler of his side but has delivered the goods consistently.

"He is not the type of player who gives you a restless night's sleep as you ponder his threat, but he is a specialist at ploughing through your dropped guard if you relax for the briefest moment," he said.

Waugh said he also admired the 37-year-old's fitness in a team "which is not renowned for their fitness."

"The Australian side greatly admire the way his last over of a marathon day is bowled with as much energy as his first," Waugh said.

On the ongoing match in which Australia's 16-match winning streak looks in danger, Waugh said pace spearhead Brett Lee will have to become the host team's knight in the shining armour.

"Brett Lee has become the world's No. 1 fast bowler this summer -- and this is the day he will have to prove it."

"It will need some special Lee magic to hoist Australia back into this Test after India's day of triumph," Waugh said after the second day's play saw the visitors take a 170-run lead.

"I am hoping for Australia's sake Lee has one last big surge in him in this match. He deserves to be rated the No. 1 fast man in the world with South African Dale Steyn the only quick I can put close to him, given the reasonably shallow state of world pace stocks," he added.