Anil Kumble used to bowl bouncers in first-class cricket, batmsen played him as if he was Brett Lee: Sanjay Manjrekar
Manjrekar revealed that Kumble was known as a ‘tall leg-spinner who is not quite like a spinner’.
Updated - Aug 10, 2020 9:36 am
India’s highest wicket-taker in both forms of the game, Anil Kumble is regarded as one of the greats to brace the sport. The leg-spinner, who bid adieu to international cricket in 2008, scalped 619 wickets in 132 Tests and 337 wickets in 271 ODIs.
‘Jumbo’ also served as India’s head coach between 2016-2017. He currently is the head coach of IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab. During his illustrious career, Kumble’s unique ability was to generate pace along with tweaking the ball.
Many spinners start their cricketing career as a fast bowler. But according to their built, stature and ability to tweak the ball, they’re suggested by their coaches to try their hand at spin bowling. Kumble, however, was one-of-a-kind bowler due to his ability to bowl spin with considerable pace.
In an interaction on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, Manjrekar recalled how Kumble used to scare the opposition with his blistering pace. Manjrekar revealed that Kumble was known as a ‘tall leg-spinner who is not quite like a spinner’. He even used to bowl bouncers in first-class cricket, making it quite difficult for batsmen to judge his bowling.
“He was already been talked about by everyone that there is this tall leg-spinner but he is not quite like a leg-spinner. And I remember there were some first-class performances where people were talking about him bowling bouncers on some of those domestic pitches,” said Manjrekar on the show.
Anil Kumble’s reputation preceded him: Sanjay Manjrekar
Manjrekar himself had faced Kumble in the Ranji Trophy while representing Mumbai. Kumble used to play for Karnataka in the domestic circuit. Manjrekar also shared the dressing room with Kumble as they braced the field together for India in 17 Tests and 40 ODIs.
Manjrekar said batsmen, many a time, used to fend Kumble’s deliveries like they would do against Brett Lee. Lee was a petrifying name in international cricket due to his scintillating pace. He and Shoaib Akhtar used to decimate batting line-ups with their sheer pace.
“People were fending the ball as they would against Brett Lee. So, his reputation preceded him,” added Manjrekar while remembering Kumble’s bowling performances.