20 years to the best bowling figures by an Indian, remembering Anil Humble’s 10 for 74

Spin legend Anil Kumble made history on this day 20 years ago when he ran through Pakistan’s line-up and took a 10fer at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. Kumble became only the second bowler in Test history to take all 10 wickets in an innings, and that too against none other than arch-rivals Pakistan.
The former India coach’s 10/74 in 26.3 overs delivered India’s biggest Test victory against Pakistan, a remarkable 212-run win to wrap up the series in their favour. The only other cricketer to achieve a perfect 10 was English off-spinner Jim Laker (10/53) in 1956 against Australia in Manchester.
The hosts set Pakistan a huge target of 420 runs, with two days to spare. Pakistan’s openers Shahid Afridi and Saeed Anwar with a 101-run partnership made it look difficult for India to wrap up the series till Kumble broke the dangerous opening stand with Afridi caught behind pecking outside off stump. With that, the visiting team’s demolition began.
With his previous best being 7/49, Kumble trapped Ijaz Ahmed lbw off the next ball before claiming the wicket of Inzamam-ul-Haq. In an interview to CricketNext, Kumble, whose official Twitter handle ‘1074’ is testimony to what it means to him, spoke about the ‘special’ achievement.
“I remember every wicket the way it happened, how it unfolded. It was something that was very very special. You don’t tend to forget that. Even if you do, there are a lot of people around you who would come and talk about the 10 wickets,” Kumble said.
Recalling the rare feat, Kumble had told BCCI, “The floodgates opened with Afridi’s dismissal. I wanted to keep him as quiet as possible. He got a nick, and Nayan Mongia did the rest behind the wickets. The breakthrough had been effected. Ijaz Ahmed, the new man, had this habit of plonking his front foot down the track. I decided to bowl one that was right up to him. The cherry hit him right in front, and the umpire raised his index finger. We were on a roll.”
“I was lucky with Inzamam-ul-Haq’s wicket. He had committed himself to the front foot, and played away, only to inside-edge the ball onto the stumps. Yousuf and Moin Khan followed soon after. Anwar’s wicket was special, for he was batting well, with over fifty runs to his name. I tried to break his concentration by switching from over the wicket to around, and back. He was taken at short-leg.
“That made it six wickets out of six, and it was at this point that I started thinking in terms of bettering my previous best of 7/49. Mind you, I wasn’t thinking about taking all ten wickets! The Tea break came at the right time as I was tiring after having to bowl non-stop in that session,” he said.
Little less than 43 years after Laker’s feat, Kumble rewrote history.

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