Thursday, October 23, 2008

Delhi curator to gift Kumble spinning track

The Ferozshah Kotla, India Test captain Anil Kumble's lucky ground, is host to the third Test between India and Australia , and its curator, Radhey Shyam Sharma, says he will prepare a track that will suit 'Jumbo's' bowling style.
Kumble has an outstanding record at the Kotla: in six Tests there, he has picked 55 wickets, including all ten in an innings against Pakistan, at an average of 15.42.
Sharma has prepared pitches at the Kotla since 1996 and the wicket for the upcoming match will be the last he will prepare for a Test.
In his final Test in-charge of the pitch, he wants to give Kumble the kind of pitch he relishes bowling on.
"This will be my parting gift to Kumble. Even though he has risen to great heights as a cricketer, Kumble is a lovely human being at heart. Whenever he comes to Delhi , he always takes time out to sit and chat with me.
"I've always made wickets that suit Kumble, and this time it won't be any different," he added.
Speaking about the wicket for the forthcoming Test, Sharma said, "This wicket against Australia will give some assistance to seamers initially but the spinners can come into play as early as on third morning. There will be no dust on the wicket but the ball will tend to grip the pitch and get more turn. There'll be a bit of uneven bounce with the wear and tear."
The 73-year-old also warned all those who questioned Kumble's ability saying, "There's no way he will miss the match. This venue is very special to him and he'll play, come what may. In fact, for all those people who believe that Kumble is now a spent force, he will bounce back here in Delhi."
The Kotla has been a favourite hunting ground for the Indian team too; they won seven consecutive Tests at the Kotla. The last time they were beaten there was more than two decades ago, in 1987.

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