Legendary India leg-spinner and former captain Anil Kumble revealed that in his playing career, the hype around India-Pakistan matches was at such a high level that fans would have been okay even if the side lost to Kenya, but not against Pakistan.
India will be facing off against arch-rivals Pakistan in the group stage of 50-over Asia Cup 2023 on September 2 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy. If India and Pakistan make it to Super Four stage, they are then slated to meet in Colombo.
India and Pakistan will then face-off in the league stage of Men’s ODI World Cup at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on October 14.
“In our times, the word was ‘lose even to Kenya but not to Pakistan’. There was pressure and expectation on the players. That’s how the matches between India and Pakistan are being played and the key is to treat it as just another match,” Kumble said during the launch of Pitchside, the memoir written by veteran cricket administrator Amrit Mathur, in Bengaluru.
Kumble, who was also India’s head coach from 2016 to 2017, is majorly remembered for a historic 10-wicket haul while conceding 74 runs against Pakistan in a Test match in New Delhi in 1999. In 34 ODIs against Pakistan, Kumble has picked 54 wickets.
“I did not go onto the field thinking of a 10-wicket haul, though that is the dream of any bowler. However, in the next Test match against Pakistan, the Asian Test Championship at Kolkata, I was struggling to take even one wicket. That is the game of cricket for you,” he added.
Apart from Kumble, former India batter and current NCA head VVS Laxman, as well as former Indian wicketkeeper and 1983 ODI World Cup winning team member Syed Kirmani were present in the event.
Kumble finished his 18-year international playing career as India’s highest wicket-taker in Tests, and the fourth-highest overall, with 619 wickets from 132 matches. In 271 ODIs, he took 337 wickets.
Press Release, Source: IANS