It was important for us to play some good cricket: Kumble


Perth : Anil Kumble was doubly delighted as his bowlers gave India an edge in the Perth Test by bundling Australia out for 212 runs in the first innings, and in the process he crossed another milestone by becoming the third bowler to take 600 Test wickets on the second day of the third Test at the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) ground here Thursday.

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“It is nice to be in a good position after the second day. It was important for us to play some good cricket after what we have gone through in the last one week,” said a smiling Kumble, as India took an overall 170-run lead.

At the close of play, India were 52 for one in the second innings, Virender Sehwag batting on 29 and night-watchman Irfan Pathan on two. Earlier in the day, after being bowled out for 330 runs, Indian seamers rocked the Australian batting by wrapping their first innings for 212. Rudra Pratap Singh was the most successful bowler with his four for 68 while Kumble, Pathan and Ishant Sharma picked two wickets each.

“I am really proud with the way the young seamers bowled. We are a pretty young bowling side and they bowled brilliantly, and the way they dismissed the Australian top order was really commendable,” said Kumble.

The India captain asserted that his team is determined to do well in Australia after the unfortunate events in Sydney. “We always wanted to do well in Australia. We had some opportunities in both Melbourne and Sydney and also grabbed some of them in Sydney too, but it was unfortunate for us,” he said.

On his personal achievement, Kumble said: “When I started, I never thought I will ever achieve the 600-wicket-mark, but I was confident that I would play a lot of Test matches, though some people never thought I could.”

Playing his 124th Test, the 37-year-old captain continues to remain third in all-time wicket-takers’ list. Only world-record holder Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan (734 wickets in 118 Tests) and retired Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne (708 in 145) are ahead of him.

Kumble also said that the onus in the current Test would now be on the batsmen so that they can occupy more time at the crease, as three days are still left, and give the bowlers a target to help India make it 1-2 in the series.

“We have to bat long and occupy the crease for a longer time so that we can have the runs on board,” he said.

The Indian captain also admitted that he was bit a surprised with the turn he extracted on the second day from the Perth track, which is considered to be one of the fastest pitches in the world.

“I was a bit surprised from the turn I got today. So I think it will be pretty interesting bowling in the fourth innings,” said Kumble.

By a pleasant coincidence, Dravid also moved up to third spot in the list of all-time Test catchers. With his 165th catch, Dravid left retired West Indies captain Brian Lara behind and he is only one short of second-placed former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming. Australia’s Mark Waugh, who has also retired, holds the world record with 181 catches in Tests.