Vantage point

Monday, December 19, 2005

How is Kumble different?

Something happened in the Delhi test that I really enjoyed. Anil Kumble outshone Muttiah Muralitharan.

Bith are great bowlers as I have written earlier, but are so different. One being a leggie and the other an offie is just the first point of difference.

Batsmen are wary of each and every ball that Murali bowls. The prodigious spin by itself is enough for foxing a lesser batsman. Now he also has the doosra. To illustrate my point more clearly, if Murali was a fast bowler, he would be someone who keeps attacking the stumps at torrid pace. So the batsmen are busy keeping each and every ball out. Thus Murali is a bit like Shoaib Akhtar.

Kumble however is different. Most of his deliveries are safe ones that even a tail-ender can easily negotiate. But it's one or two deliveries that end up being wicket-taking ones.

When a batsman is dismissed to a Murali delivery, often he isn't dismissed because he didn't know how to play the delivery. It was the execution that went wrong. But when a batsman is out to Kumble, it's mostly because he had no idea how to negotiate that particular delivery.