The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kumble cracks Eden curse
Morning ball shows the day for India

Calcutta, March 20: Anil Kumble imparts an engineer's precision to his bowling. There was, however, a departure this morning, but neither he nor Team India complained.

Rather, everybody was cock-a-hoop as the very first delivery drifted down leg and Dinesh Karthik (buoyed by yesterday's 93) effected a splendid stumping to end Younis Khan's stay at the Eden.

From then on, the pressure was exclusively on Pakistan and the end came 23 minutes after the last day's tea. Irrespective of what happens in the third and final Test, in Bangalore from Thursday, the series can't be lost by India.

To take a 1-0 lead, Pakistan would have had to eclipse the best-ever chase ' 418 for seven by the West Indies. That was an impossibility.

As it turned out, the Sourav Ganguly-led India won by 195 runs, the ninth highest win runs-wise.

'I may not fully be expressing my emotions, but only I know how thrilled I am' The first-ever win over Pakistan at the Eden' Winning on a good wicket' It has been terrific,' Sourav told The Telegraph.

Yet, he confessed being disappointed over contributing a mere 24 in the Test on home turf.

'I'm familiar with every blade of grass at the Eden, but I'm still awaiting a Test hundred' Don't know whether it's the pressure, but it probably doesn't help seeing so many familiar faces,' Sourav said.

Setting aside a personal disappointment, though, the captain lounged ' receiving calls and sending SMSs ' in the dressing room for almost three hours. All the while, hundreds waited just off the Eden to see him leave in his Ford Endeavour.

'My mind didn't go blank when the last wicket (Danish Kaneria's) was taken' It had become a matter of time, despite Pakistan beginning the day with nine wickets in hand,' Sourav pointed out.

Earlier, interacting with the media, he felt the 'quality of our bowling' and not the state of the wicket hastened Pakistan's end.

Specifically, Sourav saluted yet another Kumble 10-wicket haul: 'Neither I nor anybody else has to comment on his bowling' He's on the verge of 500 wickets and will even get to 600.'

Today, Kumble has 460 wickets.

Sourav picked Younis's dismissal as the 'turning point.' Inzamam-ul Haq, for his part, chose the first innings' collapse (281 for two to 393 all out) as the No.1 defeat-inviting cause.

Rahul Dravid, with a model century in each innings, was adjudged Man of the Match. Many, however, felt the award should have been shared by Dravid and Kumble (10 for 161).

'Of course, this is the icing on the cake' It's going to remain a big achievement,' Dravid said, speaking about his latest MoM award.

Drained after bowling 32 overs in truly oppressive conditions during the day, Kumble remarked: 'I've got to be tired' Bowling on and on' I need to ease off.'

And, when a fan said he was India's trump card, Kumble quipped: 'Main kya ghoda hoon'

If he actually was one, Kumble would be envied as the thoroughbred of the times in these parts.

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