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Last Updated: May 17, 2007 - 8:46:52 AM
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Kumble quits ODI cricket, eyes 600 wickets in Tests
Mar 30, 2007 - 9:13:30 PM
Kumble thanked everyone who helped him play cricket.

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[RxPG] Bangalore, March 30 - After spinning India to many victories, Anil Kumble, the country's most successful One-day International bowler with 337 wickets, quit ODI cricket Friday, but has now set his eyes on the 600-wicket mark in Test matches.

Kumble, 36, took 337 scalps in 271 matches. He has taken 547 wickets in 113 Tests so far. Both are the highest tallies for an Indian.

'I am still available for Test cricket. I still have some cricket left in me. I will see whether I can achieve 600 wickets in Test cricket,' Kumble said at a press conference at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, two days after he returned home with the team.

His retirement follows India's abysmal performance in the ongoing World Cup in the West Indies.

'I always wanted to be a part of the team right from the time when I started playing. It became a habit and I always wanted to have the ball in my hand. Things didn't go right in the last World Cup,' said the man, only one of the two, who have taken all 10 wickets in a Test innings.

Kumble, who also represented Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Surrey in the county competitions, played only one match in the West Indies, against Bermuda, and took three wickets. He took three for 38, with tailender Malachi Jones becoming his last victim.

Kumble had made up his mind to retire from one-day cricket after the World Cup, irrespective of India's performance in the West Indies, though he had first mulled about retirement a few years ago.

'I did think of retirement four years back,' he disclosed Friday.

'But this World Cup was special. So I thought this was the time to give the youngsters a chance.'

Kumble is naturally disappointed that India failed to cross the first hurdle at the World Cup.

'What happened in the World Cup was unfortunate. We still have along way to go. The team that went to the West Indies had all the quality. We definitely believed that we would go a long way in the World Cup,' he said.

'But it was a matter of two bad starts. The format of the tournament was also such that if you lose one match then it becomes tough for you. If you look back at the warm-up games we performed well.'

Kumble felt that there was no need to panic at the World Cup failure.

'I don't think we need to go for drastic changes. We should sit down and take a rational approach about how Indian cricket should be looked at in future. Decisions shouldn't be taken emotionally,' he said.

On who could take the spinners' torch forward after his retirement, Kumble said: 'There are quiet a good number of spinners in the country. Harbhajan is still young and we have Ramesh Powar, Piyush Chawla and Murali Kartik.'

Kumble is only the second bowler to take all 10 wickets in a Test innings. He achieved that world record in Pakistan's second innings at Delhi's Ferozeshah Kotla in February 1999 to spin India to a grand victory.

In doing so, Kumble emulated England's Jim Laker, who performed the feat against Australia at Old Trafford, Manchester, in 1956.

Kumble, who began playing cricket as a medium pacer, switched to leg-spin on insistence from his elder brother.

But shoulder and other injuries made him miss many matches - he was once out for 20 months due to a shoulder operation -- or his wicket tally would have been bigger.

Since making his Test debut against England at Manchester in 1990, Kumble has won many matches for India.

He rose to become vice-captain of the Indian team. But captaincy eluded him due to injuries and uncertainty about his place in the ODI team at certain stages of his career.

'I would have relished the responsibility of being an Indian captain. I know the job of an Indian captain is very hard. I got a lot of support from my first captain Mohammed Azharuddin,' Kumble said.

Kumble thanked everyone who helped him play cricket.

'As a player we sacrifice our lives and families and when we go there we give our 100 percent. I got good support from my friends, family and my wife.'

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