Monday, November 3, 2008

Kumble retires from Test cricket

The third Test between India and Australia ended in a tame draw here on Sunday but not before the host captain Anil Kumble announced his retirement from Test cricket.

The Indians declared their second innings on 208-5 to set the tourists an improbable target of 245 from 23 overs.

The visitors, who made 577 all out in their first innings, were 31-0 when the teams decided to call off play with 15 overs still remaining in the day.

Openers Matthew Hayden (16) and Simon Katich (14) were at the crease when stumps were drawn.
The Border-Gavaskar series, which India lead 1-0 after winning the second game in Mohali, heads to Nagpur for the fourth and final match from November 6-10. The opener in Bangalore ended in a draw.
With the action on the field being only of academic interest, Kumble, 38, announced he was quitting the Test game with immediate effect. He had already given up one-day cricket.

The leg-spinner, who bowled with 11 stitches in his finger in Australia's first innings, said he made the decision because he knew he would not be fully fit for the Nagpur game.

"The injury helped me take this decision,"
he said after the match.

"I wanted to quit after the series. But after the injury here, I knew I would not be 100 percent fit for Nagpur and I did not want to let my team down.

"Ideally I would have liked to end with a win here but I am confident of sealing the series in Nagpur,"
said Kumble, who was given a lap of honour by his teammates at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground.

Kumble did get a chance to bowl one final time following his surprise announcement half an hour after tea.

But he could not add to his 619 Test wickets and his last ball in 132 Tests was a full toss that was driven straight down the ground for four by Hayden.

The day had draw written on it after Australia failed to spark the collapse that they had hoped for.
They picked up two wickets in the first session and one in the third but India's talented middle order, led by Venkatsai Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar, batted cautiously on a pitch that remained good for batting on all five days.

Resuming at their overnight score of 43-2, the hosts lost an out-of-sorts Rahul Dravid (11) early when he dragged a Brett Lee in-swinger onto his stumps for his second failure in the match.

Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir (36) put 40 runs on for the third wicket before the opener was unlucky to be adjudged leg-before off paceman Mitchell Johnson as TV replays showed the ball would have missed leg stump.

Laxman welcomed Johnson, celebrating his 27th birthday, with a boundary, prompting the bowler to hurl a few angry words at him.

The right-hander also hit a classic straight drive off White besides a cover driven boundary off Clarke and was named man of the match, remaining not out on 59.

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