Monday, August 13, 2007

Third in the List

Monty Panesar lbw b Kumble 9 (42)
Yet again it was an LBW, which got him the honor of being the third highest wicket taker in test cricket. My previous post on Kumble had mentioned that presently he is the highest wicket taker in the form of LBWs in tests. Now the top 3 places in all-time highest wicket takers list is occupied by spinners: Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan, Anil Kumble. Now Kumble has 564 wickets from 117 tests in his kitty. With the last day of the third test between India and England remaining, opportunity is waiting for him to swell this collection by another 5-6 wickets, there by enabling India to win the series 2-0 against England. It has been a amazing turn around in terms of records of taking most wickets in test cricket. Previously it was all dominated by speedsters like Richard Hadlee, Kapil Dev, Courtney Walsh. But now all the three places are with spinners

Talking of Anil, it was not only with the ball he had contributed to the game in this match, but with bat too. It was heartening to see Anil Kumble score his maiden hundred in this test match. He had four fifties to his credit earlier. On couple of occasions he had come close to scoring a hundred. First time it was against the South Africans (88) and then, against the Lankans (75). But somehow the three figure mark had eluded him for a long time. This also earned him the dubious distinction of being the cricketer to take most matches(117) to score his first hundred. Previously this record was held by Chaminda Vass. Interesting to see that none of the recognized batsmen scored a hundred in this test match, though three of them came close to do that – Dinesh Karthik(91), Sachin Tendulkar(82), M S Dhoni(92). Dhoni’s dhamaka was a treat to watch on Friday. It made clear that why he was made the 20-20 Indian team’s world cup captain. It would be great to see all the hard hitters in world cricket battle out in the 20-20 version of the game in South Africa.

Its still a mystery why Dravid chose to bat again when he could have enforced follow on the hapless English. A lead over 300 runs was enough to make the opposition follow on. But now with 52/0 on the board and only 3 sessions left in the last day it would be interesting to see how the Dravid marshals his resources to widen the series victory margin. England need another 444 runs with a minimum of 90 overs with the run rate touching 5 runs per over. England win is a very distant possibility but an Indian win can not be ruled out. Hope to see some good cricket on the last day at Oval.


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