File image of Steve Waugh(Getty)
File image of Steve Waugh(Getty)

'Can't remember him bowling poorly against us': Steve Waugh names the 'Rahul Dravid of India's bowling'

  • Such was his impact that Steve Waugh feels the legendary cricketer was India's bowling equivalent of Rahul Dravid.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 13, 2021 01:11 PM IST

It is not secret that Australia played their best cricket under the captaincy of Steve Waugh. The former Australia skipper, who captained in 57 Tests, had a win percentage of 72, having led the team to wins in 41 of those. Having taken over Australia's captaincy in 1997, Waugh led the team until his retirement in 2004. Under him, Australia went on a winning streak of 16 Test matches before it was broken by India in March of 2001.

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Waugh, who played 168 Tests for Australia and is in the news recently for his admiration towards the greats of Indian cricket such as Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, has now spoken about how great a cricketer former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble was. Waugh explained what made Kumble the legend that went on to become.

"I don't think I played anyone who enjoyed playing for the country as much as he (Anil Kumble) did. It was everything to him. We certainly didn't play him as a leg-spinner. We played him more like a slow in-swing bowler," Waugh recalled in a video posted by cricket.com.au.

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"He had a great change of pace. It was all about variations, use of the crease. He sort of mixed it up a bit. Anything in the wicket like a bit of rough or unevenness, and he was more than a handful."

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Kumble finished with 619 Test wickets, the most by an Indian bowler in Tests and currently stands as the third-highest wicket-taker after Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne. Against Australia, Kumble picked up 111 wickets from 20 Tests at an average of 21.33 and 10 five-wicket-hauls. This includes the 2003/04 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Waugh's final series in which Kumble grabbed 24 wickets from three Tests. Such was Kumble's impact that Waugh feels he was the bowling equivalent of what Dravid was with the bat.

"He (Anil Kumble) was a fierce competitor. He was always at you and never gave you an inch. I can't remember him bowling poorly against us. He was a bit like Dravid of their bowling line-up. The captain knew what they were going to get from him. He was there all the time," Waugh said.

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Water is seen pooling on the surface near the wicket during a rain delay on day two of the fourth test match between Australia and India at the Gabba.(via REUTERS)
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