On February 7, 1999, Anil Kumble took 10-74 in the second innings of a Test match to become the second man in the history of the game to take all ten wickets in an innings, after England’s Jim Laker did it first against Australia in 1956.
In what was a two-match Test series against Pakistan, India lost the first one by the thinnest of margin, and they needed to win the last Test at the Feroz Shah Kotla to level the series. And what transpired in Delhi was incomprehensible sorcery from Kumble as Pakistani batsmen collapsed like a pack of cards.
Kumble reminisced that special day in his recent interaction with Zimbabwean commentator Pommie Mbangwa on Instagram. The leg-spinner stated that the pressure was on other bowlers to make sure they don’t get any wickets.
“After tea, I got 7, 8 and 9,” Kumble told Pommie Mbangwa in an Instagram chat. “And finished my over and Javagal Srinath had to bowl one, that was probably the toughest he had to bowl,” Kumble said.
The 49-years-old recalled how Javagal Srinath had to unlearn all his skills and just bowled wide outside off to ensure he doesn’t get the final wicket.
“He had to unlearn all his skills and bowl wide. But I didn’t ask him, believe me. I thought, ‘Let’s give Wasim a single.’ But I thought I had to get one that over, because it would have been embarrassing to ask one more. I was just destined. One down in a series, against Pakistan, just so special.”
The former Indian skipper further revealed that he was getting tired since he bowled non-stop between lunch and tea, but the thought of bettering his own record kept him going.
“It’s like it’s happened yesterday for me. It was special. It was pressure because Pakistan came to India after so long,” he said. “We had to win at Kotla to square the series. I think I am most effective when the wicket is two-paced and there is uneven bounce.”
“Till lunch, Pakistan had got off to a great start. I knew it was a matter of one wicket. After lunch, I changed ends. I got 1, then 2, and then it went on and on. I bowled non-stop from lunch to tea, but I was getting tired. I knew I had a great chance to better my previous best because I was six on six,” remarked Kumble.