‘I will not get out to him, asked Waqar Younis to play the big shots’ – Wasim Akram reminisces Anil Kumble’s 10-wicket haul against Pakistan

Akram was Kumble's 10th wicket at the Feroz Shah Kotla.

Wasim Akram
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Wasim Akram. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Wasim Akram, the legendary Pakistan cricketer, garnered plenty of laurels in his closet during his playing days. But on one day, he was on the other side of proceedings, back in February 1999 when Pakistan lost to India by 212 runs at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi. The southpaw became Anil Kumble’s last victim as the latter went on to pick up a 10-wicket haul in the fourth innings.

Akram didn’t want to get out to him in that game. Rather he asked Waqar Younis, who came at number eleven, to throw his bat around while facing fast bowler Javagal Srinath. However, in the end, it was Kumble who got rid of the left-hander. The wily leg-spinner found Akram’s inside edge and VVS Laxman, who was standing close-in, took a sharp catch.

It was massive: Wasim Akram

Akram lauded Kumble for the spell and said it was a colossal day in Indian cricket. Akram expressed his opinions on Aakash Chopra’s official YouTube channel. “No. This is against sportsman’s spirit (desperately getting out another bowler). I said to Waqar Younis that you play Anil Kumble, I will not get out to him.

As a captain, I told Waqar to play his normal game and go for shots against (Javagal) Srinath. The first ball Kumble bowled… inside edge…and I got caught. It’s a big day for India and Kumble. It was massive,” Akram was quoted as saying.

Akram showed some stern resistance amidst the carnage. Batting at number eight, he scored 37 runs off 66 balls with the help of seven boundaries. He came in the middle after Pakistan were reduced from 101 for no loss in the 25th over to 126 for eight in the 39th over. But then he put on 58 runs along with Salim Malik, who churned out 15 runs.

Before Kumble, Jim Laker was the first to get a 10-fer against Australia way back in 1956. The likes of Muttiah Muralitharan, Rangana Herath and Keshav Maharaj came close, picking up nine wickets.

To their dismay, they couldn’t match Kumble’s numbers. Even after two decades following the historic moment, the moments of the Test match are pretty afresh.