Calcutta: Anil Kumble began the year looking to 'quickly reach 435.' He got there (and went one better) in Dhaka on Friday afternoon, the opening day of the second last Test of 2004.
'Yes, I reckon my mind is now going to be more free' One target is off and, today, looking at 500 Test wickets is realistic,' Kumble told The Telegraph, shortly after returning to the team hotel.
Asked whether he was getting impatient, given that the first seven wickets were taken by Irfan Pathan and Zaheer Khan, Kumble laughed: 'Not really' Often, patience is the key' I knew I would get my man (Mohammed Rafique, as it turned out)'
Nobody from the family was present at the Bangabandhu National Stadium, but the ones dearest to the 34-year-old Kumble ' mother Saroja and wife Chetna, for example ' were there 'in spirit.'
Actually, had Kumble got past Kapil Dev early, Chetna and Saroja would probably have missed that moment ' thanks to a cable TV problem in Bangalore too.
'Fortunately, the family managed to see the 435th wicket,' Kumble remarked, adding he was 'disappointed' that at least half of Calcutta couldn't watch Rafique's dismissal.
Initially reluctant to pick his 'most satisfying' performances, Kumble eventually listed three (besides six for 53 at the Wanderers in his comeback series, 1992-93): Twenty-four wickets in Australia last season, 15 in Pakistan, again last season, and the Jim Laker-matching ten for 74 at the Kotla, almost six years ago.
Till Kumble caught up with Kapil, at the Eden last week, the former captain had been India's most successful for over 19 years. The question is: How long will the new record-holder stay at the top'
Kumble preferred not to answer but, given the wear-and-tear of the present-day bowlers, his reign could be as long.
Well, why not'