Anil Kumble reveals how Javagal Srinath helped him to pick 10 wickets against Pakistan

New Zealand’s Indian origin spinner Ajaz Patel made quite a name for himself a month ago when he picked up all ten wickets in a single innings (first innings) in the second Test between India and New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium. The 33-year old shot to fame in a single match due to his terrific performance and got his much deserved credit. However, as we all know, Ajaz Patel was not the only player in Cricket’s history to have achieved this extraordinary feat.

Only three players, namely JC Laker of England, Anil Kumble of India and Ajaz Patel of New Zealand have hold the record for picking up 10 wickets in a single test innings. India’s Anil Kumble is the most famous cricketer on the list and undoubtedly the only one that comes to our mind when we think of the record. However, did you know that without the help of his teammate Javagal Srinath, Anil Kumble would have never been able to do it?

The year was 1999. India were playing a Test series against arch rivals Pakistan on their home ground. India had lost the first test and were thus under tremendous pressure in the second test at Delhi. It was under these circumstances that Anil Kumble picked up all the wickets of Pakistan and won the match for India. His figures in the game were 26.3-9-74-10.

In a recent interview, Anil Kumble revealed how big a role Javagal Srinath had played in helping him reach the 10 wickets mark. When Anil Kumble was on 9 wickets, Javagal Srinath came in to bowl. For Kumble to pick 10 wickets, Srinath needed to be wicketless and thus he deliberately started bowling wides and half hearted deliveries.

Anil Kumble said, “He [Javagal] 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.”

After Srinath’s over, Anil Kumble came in and picked up Wasim Akram’s wicket making him the second ever player worldwide and the first ever Indian player to pick up 10 wickets in a single test inning.