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Kumble joins 500-wicket club

Leg spinner Anil Kumble Saturday became the first Indian and the fifth bowler in the world to capture 500 Test wickets when he dismissed Stephen Harmison on the third day of the second Test against England.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2006 12:04 IST

Leg spinnerAnil KumbleSaturday became the first Indian and the fifth bowler in the world to capture 500 Test wickets when he dismissed Stephen Harmison on the third day of the second Test against England.

The landmark wicket came in his 105th Test, since his debut against England in Manchester in 1990. It makes him the second senior-most player in the Indian team after Sachin Tendulkar who made his Test debut in 1989.

Kumble took two successive wickets - Geraint Jones and Harmison - to reach the much-awaited landmark. Monty Panesar denied him what would have been his first hattrick.

Congratulate the Jumbo

But one delivery later, Kumble dismissed Panesar to signal the end of England's first innings at 300.

Kumble, 35, has now joined the elite '500-wicket club' that also comprises leader Shane Warne of Australia (659 wickets), Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (600), Australian Glenn McGrath (542) and retired West Indies speedster Courtney Walsh (519).

Kumble finished the innings with his 32nd five-wicket haul. At the end of the England innings, he has bowled 5493.1 overs, 1,338 of them maidens, for his 501 wickets that have come at an average of 28.87.

He has captured 10 wickets in a match eight times.

Of the 500 wickets, Kumble, with his accuracy, has taken a big majority of wickets, 316 in 55 Tests at home and 185 in 50 matches on foreign soil.

Kumble, a mechanical engineer, has worked tirelessly over the years, overcoming a variety of injuries that at times ruled him out of the game for months together.

Of the nine countries that Kumble has played against, he has claimed 88 wickets in 14 Tests against Australia. And in 15 Tests against England, he has bagged 69 wickets.

In 264 one-day internationals, Kumble has captured 329 wickets at an average of 30.76. He has also taken four wickets in innings eight times and five-wicket hauls on two occasions.

One of India's biggest match winners, Kumble's forte is his nagging accuracy and the ability to bowl on the dot again and again that often frustrates batsmen to play indiscreet shots and lose their wickets. He is not a big turner of the ball like Warne.

The highlight of Kumble's 16-year Test career was his 10-wicket haul that he snared in Pakistan's second innings to spin India to a famous win at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground in New Delhi in February 1999.

It was - and still is - only the second instance in the 128-year Test history when a bowler had captured all 10 scalps in an innings.

The only other instance was in 1956 when England's Jim Laker performed the feat against Australia in Manchester.

First Published: Mar 11, 2006 14:09 IST