It seems churlish not to say nice things when somebody retires. And I do admit I was a little touched when Kumble walked up to bowl his final over after 18 years of international cricket, during which time he bowled India to victory more than anybody else, albeit on helpful Indian pitches. But it has to be said that he did not deserve a place in the side for this series, or even the previous one in Sri Lanka. He averaged nearly fifty runs a wicket in the last four series, three of them played on sub-continental pitches.
Kumble also has been less of a team-man than it appears. He played in the first Test, and maybe even in the third, with a dodgy shoulder. It was ironic to hear him say that he decided to announce his retirement because he did not want to play in the fourth Test without being fully fit as that would be unfair to the team. I mean, with eleven stitches in his hand, and with only a four-day break between the third and fourth Tests, there was no way he could have played anyway. And given his fitness, bowling form, and lacklustre captaincy, there was every likelihood of his being dropped from the side. So to turn the retirement into a noble gesture was a bit grandiose. And so was that last inconsequential catch he took of Johnson, and the flinging of the ball in anger to chide the team for dropping all those catches. His angry reaction to Amit Mishra dropping a catch off his bowling was equally out of wack, considering it was Kumble who started the rash of dropped catches with the vital one of Hayden off Mishra's bowling on the third day. Anyway, I'm looking forward to watching Amit Mishra now, instead of the predictable Kumble. Ever since the Lankans figured out that Kumble could be played like an in-swinger, he really lost his wicket-taking ability. Nobody played for the leg-spin, and everybody kept their pads out of harm's way. Q.E.D Kumble.