‘Kevin Pietersen threw really wide, I had a swing’: Anil Kumble recalls maiden Test ton in 2007 against England
In a recent chat with India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on his Youtube chat show ‘DRS with Ash’, Anil Kumble recalled his maiden Test hundred against England in 2007.Updated: Aug 04, 2020 14:01 IST
When speaking about the career achievements of former India captain Anil Kumble, one often cites his bowling figures. Kumble, in his legendary career, picked 619 Test wickets and 337 ODI scalps - most by any India player till now in both the formats. The right-arm bowler also became the only Indian to take 10 wickets in a Test innings in 1999 against Pakistan. But while his bowling stats are sensational, one must not forget that Kumble also got a brilliant hundred in a Test match against England at Oval in 2007.
It was an awkward looking shot on Kevin Pietersen’s delivery that led to Kumble reaching his Test hundred. In a recent chat with India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on his Youtube chat show ‘DRS with Ash’, Kumble recalled the moment and why it was a special one for him.
“The hundred certainly was very special. Because I tried it...tried, tried, tried from the first game, and I got in right in the 117th. So it was probably a guesswork for me as well. Guessing what the bowler would do, and then I got all the guesswork right in the 117th Test match,” Kumble said.“More than me, if you look at the balcony, my teammates were extremely happy. I think Laxman just fell off celebrating my hundred,” the off-spinner recalled.
The 49-year-old went on to explain his strategy when he was in the middle with Sreesanth. “I knew that I had the last man standing there. Sreesanth was the last man there. I had scored almost 30 runs with him. And I knew that they had taken the third or the fourth new ball, I don’t remember. So I knew that I had to get the runs and not allow Sreesanth to have strike,” he said.
“So I was trying to make sure that I go after KP and probably I stepped out too early. And KP just threw it really wide. And I had a swing. I knew I had taken the inside edge and before even Steve Bucknor thought that that was byes, I put my hand up, saying I have scored my hundred,” Kumble added.
Kumble went on to recall that he was the first player from India to get a ton in the series. “In fact, I was the only century-maker in that series. Which is very surprising, if you look at the kind of quality and talent that the team had,” Kumble said.
“In fact, I made a comment before the start of the Test match. When we sat down for the team meeting, suggesting that, look, it is a bit of a disappointment that with this kind of ability in this room, we still don’t have a hundred in this series. And I didn’t realise that I had to show the great batsman of the team how to get a hundred,” he further said.
Kumble played 132 Tests and 271 ODIs for India during his career. The right-arm bowler also coached India between 2016 and 2017, before he stepped down from the position.