'Questions on my style still linger'
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'Questions on my style still linger'

Kumble said his feat would not have been possible had he not "persevered" with all the criticism hurled at him and believed in his wicket-taking abilities.

india Updated: Mar 11, 2006 22:21 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Anil Kumble, who created history here today by becoming the first Indian ever to bag 500 wickets, said he was bemused when critics still questioned his abilities as a match-winning bowler.

Kumble said the feat would not have been possible had he not "persevered" with all the criticism hurled at him and believed in his wicket-taking abilities all through his 16-year career.

"Even today people question the kind of bowling I do. The questions asked 16 years ago have still not been answered -- it's very strange. But I have persevered and gone into each game thinking I have to perform," he told reporters after the third day's play in the second cricket Test against England.

Kumble said what kept him going through all the rough patches was his "self belief" and the support by his teammates, family and friends.

"There were doubts created by various people but I never doubted my abilities, my teammates and family also never doubted my abilities."

Describing the milestone as "a very special feeling", the 35-year-old Karnataka bowler said he owed the feat to all his teammates.

"It's a great feeling to be able to get to this milestone, to be the first indian ever makes it more special and being only the fifth bowler makes it very, very special.

"I owe it to all the cricketers I have played with and who have supported me."

"The fielders who took the catches, the bowlers who put pressure from the other end and the batsmen who scored the runs without which it was not possible to have come this far," Kumble added.

Singling out some special moments of his illustrious career, the genial bowler said his first wicket of Allan Lamb, the 10-wicket haul against Pakistan in 1999, performance against Australia at Adelaide and Test victory over Pakistan in 2004 were his cherished memories.

Asked what his next target was, he said "Warne has 659 wickets, Murali just got 600 so may be some day I would also reach there."

Kumble said he was constantly trying to imrpove his bowling and bringing variations to keep himself motivated.

"I realise the need to constantly evolve and bring in variations because the opposition gets to know even before you bowl your first ball what you are going to bowl (if you don't change) although.I still like to bowl classical leg spinners. The day I stop experimenting, I wouldn't be playing."

The cricketer also revealed that the shoulder injury he had suffered three years ago had led to doubts in his mind over whether he would be able to make a successful comeback.

"There were fears that I may not be able to bowl ever again. But people around me constantly supported and motivated me. Srinath had also made a comeback from injury then, so I drew motivation from that."

Talking about playing in one-dayers, the bowler said "2007 World Cup is a long way, (but) if I am in the scheme of things, I will like to contribute but it all depends on what the team wants."

First Published: Mar 11, 2006 22:21 IST