Anil Kumble, often hailed as India’s greatest match-winner in Tests, was one of the key reasons why the team started doing well overseas. Not just his bowling, but his healthy contributions with the bat, that helped Team India in posting decent totals.
It was the England tour of 2007, and India had already won the second Test at Trent Bridge. All India needed was a draw to win an iconic series away from home.
India batted first at the Oval and posted a score in excess of 600. That fairly meant that the team won’t lose the match from there. And the credit for that goes to Kumble, who struck his maiden ton. He struck useful partnerships lower down the order and ensured a huge first innings total for the Indians.
While batting in the 90s, Kumble was almost dismissed by Pietersen and he danced down the track, but missed the ball completely. But unfortunately the keeper too missed the ball and Kumble managed to score a ton.
Come England’s batting, they were bundled out for 345. India put the hosts under pressure and batted again, scoring 180/6d. That meant that England were set a target of 500. At that stage India would have harboured hopes of winning the final Test too, but that was not to be.
A Kevin Pietersen ton kept India at bay, and the match was drawn. England scored 369/6, but India still managed to win the series.
Kumble was awarded Man of the Match for his ton and five wickets in the match.