Former India spinners come to the rescue of India's under-fire captain Anil Kumble

Monday, October 27, 2021

'Mishra has to wait, Kumble is irreplaceable'

Sai Mohan

India’s captain and the country's most successful Test bowler, Anil Kumble may have had the most torrid season (9 Tests, 25 wickets @ 52 runs per wicket) of his illustrious 17-year old international cricket career, but the under-fire stalwart has the support of former India spinners, who feel that Kumble, out of all the aging cricketers, deserves good send-off.

The speculations are over. Anil Kumble will return to the playing XI for the Delhi Test as captain and fourth specialist bowler. Prodigious young leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who took seven wickets in his debut Test at Mohali last week, has been named twelfth man.

“He is the captain of the team and has every right to make whatever decision that he wants. You have to remember that Kumble is not the only one selecting himself. There is Gary Kirsten and the team management who still feel he has a lot to offer for Indian cricket,” former India captain Bishen Singh Bedi told

Kumble has drawn flak for not just his poor bowling but also his captaincy. Former Australia captain Ian Chappell, in particular, has been quite verbal about Kumble’s defensive captaincy and inability to inspire his team-mates.

“This is the ground reality, please accept it. Amit Mishra has done exceptionally well but Kumble is a living legend. Just read what Shane Warne has spoken about him,” Bedi said.

Radhey Shyam Sharma, the curator who prepared the Delhi pitch for the famous 1999 Test against Pakistan in which Kumble got the Perfect 10, is to retire after the Test against Australia. He has declared that this pitch will be his ‘parting gift’ to Kumble.

“This (Mishra getting dropped) needs to be addressed by the team management and Anil Kumble himself. I have not looked at the pitch. Traditionally playing three spinners is always a good choice at Delhi but maybe the team management thought otherwise this time around,” former India off-spinner Erapalli Prasanna told

“Anil is a seasoned campaigner. He was always expected to come back to the team when was to return from injury. Personally I would like to see Amit Mishra in the playing XI but Kumble has done so very well at this ground. He deserves a fitting farewell,” former India left-arm orthodox spinner Maninder Singh told

There has been a lot of talk about playing five batsmen in order to accommodate Kumble. However that has not happened.

“It is very difficult to play five batsmen. Mishra has to have some patience. Kumble knows that his replacement (Mishra) is ready and raring to go,” Maninder said.

“We invariably do this to great, aging cricketers. Let us not do the same to a legend like Kumble. Off all the aging cricketers Kumble is one man who deserves a grand send-off,” Bedi said.