In his 25 years of cricketing career, Sachin was regarded as one of the toughest players on the field. But there are always two sides to a coin and an emotional Sachin reminisced about one such moment while delivering the farewell speech of one of the best cricketer India ever had. In his book, Tendulkar recalls how the Delhi test turned out to be Kumble’s last match which was an extremely emotional moment for all. According to him, Kumble was the biggest match-winner India has ever produced.
It came to Sachin as a surprise when Anil first told him that he was thinking of retiring, he said. He voiced his reason for retirement and told Sachin that he felt that he wasn’t bowling close to his best and was not being able to give his 100 per cent to the team. Arguing against his apprehension Sachin told him, ‘ Even 80 per cent of Anil Kumble was good enough for most batsmen and India still needed him.’
Australia was touring India for the test series at that time and the host eventually won the series with 2-0. The third match which was also the last match of Anil Kumble, had ended in a draw.
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“I almost managed to persuade him to carry on but an injury to his spinning finger on the third day of the Test was the final straw, ” Sachin Tendulkar has written. His injury turned out to be a big hindrance in his way since he had just recovered his shoulder injury and his finger injury which required eleven stitches, he couldn’t bowl. Anil Kumble was carried on the shoulders and Sachin calls it a ‘ fitting finale’ for one of the best international cricketer.
Sachin Tendulkar calls his farewell speech as very emotional after the end of which he was given a standing ovation.” I’m glad to say we managed to convince Anil to come to Nagpur (which was Sourav Ganguly’s last international match) for the last Test to be a part of the celebration if India went on to win the series,” Sachin writes.
He calls Anil’s presence right since he had captained in two of the first three Tests and had also been the captain when the team played in Australia earlier that year and writing this he concluded referring to the series when Kumble had led India in Australia which turned out to be one of the most controversial series due to ‘ Monkeygate’ chapter.
Anil Kumble and Sachin Tendulkar had played together for close to two decades and therefore they had an emotional connect. After Kumble retired, Mahendra Singh Dhoni became India’s regular test skipper.