Veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has stated that former India captain and spin bowling legend Anil Kumble is the greatest match-winner to have ever donned Indian colours. A large part of Harbhajan’s career was spent with Kumble, especially in Test match cricket including the time when Kumble was the skipper from November 2007 till his retirement a year later in 2008.
“In my view, Anil bhai was the greatest ever who played for India,” Harbhajan told Sportstar.
“He’s probably the greatest match-winner India has ever produced. People used to say he didn’t spin the ball, but he showed that if you had the heart, you could get batsmen out regardless of whether the ball spun or not.”
“If anyone has half the competitiveness Anil bhai had, he would become a champion. I’m lucky to have played with him for so many years. He was an unbelievably committed player,” he said.
Despite his limitations such as not being a huge turner of the ball, Kumble remains one of the most successful bowlers of all time. He has 619 Test wickets against his name, the third-highest number of wickets in Test match cricket after Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan. In addition, he picked 337 wickets in 271 ODIs and is the highest Indian wicket-taker in both Test matches as well as ODIs.
Kumble is only the second bowler after Jim Laker to take all 10 wickets in a Test inning and the only cricketer till date to take all 10 wickets in an innings as well as score a ton in Test match cricket.