Sunday, November 2, 2008

Anil Kumble "The Fighter"

Today I like any other Indian, was shell shocked when Anil Kumble announced his retirement all of a sudden. I was not expecting this thing from Jumbo. But the most incredible thing was that he announced his retirement on the ground where he created History against Pakistan few years back. Besides being the highest wicket taker for India, Jumbo is also a very humble human being, a true fighter, a match winner. He always delivered whenever captain handed bowl to him. For his entire cricketing career he won several matches for India on home turf. Who can forget when he single handily destroyed the whole Pakistani batting line up in Ferozshah Kotla Ground, New Delhi. For most of his career he was considered to be a man who was a match winner only on Indian pitches but he proved his critics wrong by performing exceptionally well in Australia, England and all over the World...

I still remember the game against West Indies when Mervyn Dillon's bouncer hit him on his Jaw. But this man came with bandages on his broken jaw and captured the price wicket of Brian Lara. It was the passion to play for India, to win match for India that kept him on the field even with his Broken Jaw. This is Anil Kumble for you. "Cricket has a way of producing inspiring tales of valour for the country and this ranks at the top," said legendary Sunil Gavaskar after this brave effort by Jumbo. "It was one of the bravest things I've seen on the field of play," said the great Viv Richards.
This man has always been an inspiration for young spinners in India. He was always under the criticism that he doesn't turn the ball, but even then he played 2nd highest number of test matches for India, he proved every critic wrong by becoming the leading test wicket taker for India. He played in the era of Shane Warne & Muttiah Murlitharan. And he was right up there with these two great spinners. All three are different but Kumble played every test match with the hopes and expectations of more then 1 Billion people. He is arguably the best Indian bowler ever. I salute this great cricketer and wish him all the very best for his life ahead..

Sachin Tendulkar "The Legend"

It was Mid Nineties when I first started watching Cricket. I was sitting alongside my father and I was asking all sort of silly questions related to cricket. India didn't do very well in bowling department, so I asked my father who is going to win this match for INDIA. And without even taking his eyes from TV, my father answered it must be Sachin Tendulkar. That was the day when I became his fan, without knowing much about him at that time. I watched couple of matches of India and my belief in him grew stronger and stronger. I wanted to Open the batting in our street level cricket because Sachin Tendulkar opens for India. Then came the the World Cup 1996. First Match was against Kenya and he scored a century, 127. Followed by a brilliant 70 & 90 against Windies & Aussies respectively. But that time India was known as One-Man Army and as soon as he got out against Australia, All hopes died there itself. He scored a brilliant century against Srilanka in league match.
I was quite happy with the way everything was going on in that World Cup and the First over by Javagal Srinath in Semi Final against SriLanka, cheered every Indian. India started the batting and it was again the Little Genius who took the resposibility to Win that game for India. He was playing superbly until he got out to smart work from Kaluwitharna. That was the time when a drop of tear came out of my eye. But what happened after that made me cry for 3 hours non stop. C'mon guys I was a Kid then!!!
The kind of Respect and Love that got generated at that point of time for Sachin Tendulkar, never decreased. Even when people start raising their doubts if he can play anymore or not. I think He is a big big tree and these critics are like Monkeys. These monkeys will keep on jumping from one place to another place on this huge tree but even then can not judge his height, his Greatness. I have seen some of really big name like Kapil Dev, Bishon Bedi telling him to retire from Cricket and changing their statements after his one breth taking performance. I have seen the kind of joy Sunny Gavskar and Ravi Shashtri feel when Sachin hits an On Drive or Drives fast bowlers on the UP towards cover boundry. These are men, who will never say him to retire because they know that he has got equally good Cricketing brain and he can take decision on his own. Also, these guys are payed for "Commenting on Cricket" and not on "Commenting on how Sachin Played in one inning".
After such enormous success he is still Down to earth and he has never been part of any controversy ever. He never abused some one, never fought with any one after getting drunk!!! His Off-Field image is as good as his On-Field image.