Kumble India's greatest match-winner: Harbhajan

Bhajji & Jumbo
Harbhajan Singh, left, and Anil Kumble formed a lethal partneship. File photo: AFP

New Delhi: Veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh said that former Indian captain and spin great Anil Kumble is the greatest to have ever played for India. Harbhajan played a large part of his Test career with Kumble, including when the latter was captain from November, 2007, till his retirement a year later.

"In my view, Anil bhai was the greatest ever who played for India," Harbhajan told Sportstar.

"He's probably the greatest match-winner India has ever produced. People used to say he didn't spin the ball, but he showed that if you had the heart, you could get batsmen out regardless of whether the ball spun or not."

"If anyone has half the competitiveness Anil bhai had, he would become a champion. I'm lucky to have played with him for so many years. He was an unbelievably committed player," he said.

Superb record
Anil Kumble, second left, is India's highest wicket-taker in both Tests and ODIs. File photo: AFP

Although he was not a big turner of the ball, Kumble remains one of the most successful bowlers of all time. His tally of 619 wickets puts him only behind Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan in the list of all time highest Test wicket-takers. The leggie picked up 337 wickets in 271 ODIs and remains India's highest wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs.

Kumble & Harbhajan
Kumble and Harbhajan during the controversial Sydney Test against Australia in 2008. File photo: AFP

He is only the second bowler after Jim Laker to take 10 wickets in a Test innings and the only player to have done so and scored a century in the longest format of the game.

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