Mumbai: Ajay Ratra, the former India wicketkeeper, believes that Anil Kumble is a great fighter and will certainly succeed in his new stint with the team as head coach.
Ratra, like all the members of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) who interviewed Kumble for the post, was a member of the Indian team when Kumble had broken his jaw (off a Merv Dillon bouncer), but still came to bowl with a bandage during the Antigua Test in 2002.
The 35-year-old Ratra who donned gloves in the same Test, recalled: “I could see bloodstains on the pitch when I went to bat after him. It was a scary moment for me though I scored a century in that Test match”.
“Kumble is the epitome of determination and commitment. The injury looked so bad that none other would have thought of entering the field. He still came out and bowled a great spell for India.
“I could feel that he was in pain...but on a mission for our team,” he added.
“He came against the advice of our coach (John Wright) and captain (Ganguly). Kumble was so determined to take the field,” Ratra informed.
“It shocked all of us. Actually I was on the field at that time and suddenly saw a tall man in whites with jaw strapped standing on a boundary line with physio (Andrew Leipus). He wanted to come and bowl. He did come and bowl 10 odd hours and took a wicket too,” he said.
Wishing Kumble success, Ratra said he was right man for the right job.
Meanwhile, Dr. Kishore Nayak, who had performed maxillofacial surgery on Kumble in Bengaluru, is excited to see Kumble getting the coaching role.
“He is an absolute gentleman and thorough professional. He displayed an extreme sense of humbleness and without much fanfare got the treatment done. His immediate concern then was how soon he could return to playing cricket. And he did that at the earliest opportunity. A true professional indeed,” he said.
“I once approached him for a road safety campaign and he agreed to help without any hesitation.”...