Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Here's to a Kumble swan song
On the eve of the Test, it looks like Bhajji's toe is Mishra's only hope of getting to play in spite of bowling out half the Australian side in the first innings of the Mohali Test. Kumble wants to give Bhajji time until the morning of the Test to see if he can "declare himself fit". One can only hope his desperation to have Bhajji in the eleven is prompted by the need for balance in the side, as he says, rather than a reluctance to compete against Mishra on the same pitch. Having said all that, I do expect Kumble to get among the wickets at the Kotla even if he is only half fit, although he claims to be 100 per cent. This is the only pitch which is rough enough for him to turn the ball past the bat. That, combined with uneven bounce on a hard surface, means he will be difficult to handle if his shoulder allows him bowl at something like the speed at which he usually does. But so what? On every other pitch, Kumble will continue to struggle to get wickets because his in-dipper is old hat, and nobody gets trapped LBW to that any more. For his sake, I hope he bowls India to a series win in Delhi, and immediately announces his retirement.