Bishan Singh Bedi has recalled the time he saw Anil Kumble crying on his Test debut after the spinner received a scolding from the legendary Kapil Dev for dropping a simple catch. However, Bedi insisted the incident helped Kumble in the long run since he realized his mistake and regretted it.
Anil Kumble has gone down in history as one of the greatest bowlers ever to grace the sport of cricket and remains to this day the third highest wicket-taker in Test cricket. The leg-spinner is often remembered for his incredible grit and mental strength, as was most famously showcased in 2002 when Kumble bowled a brilliant spell with a broken jaw.
However, that was apparently not always the case, as has been recently revealed by Kumble's former teammate Bishan Singh Bedi. Kumble made his Test debut for India against England in 1990 under the captaincy of Mohammad Azharuddin. Also part of the team was a legendary all-rounder and World Cup-winning skipper Kapil Dev who was entering the twilight of his career but remained highly effective. Then, Kapil Dev held the record for most Test wickets across the globe. In fact, it was this very match where he was on the cusp of breaking the record, leading to which an incident occurred between the two legends.
Bowling to Allan Lamb, Dev had positioned Kumble at deep fine leg looking to snare him up with a bouncer. He executed the delivery perfectly as the ball seemed to travel straight down Kumble's throat, only for the debutant to inexplicably spill it. Bedi recalled the aftermath of the incident and how it helped shape Kumble into a legendary bowler.
"It was his first Test match. I was the cricket manager at Old Trafford. Anil dropped the match and Kapil scolded him on the ground. It was his debut and Kapil I guess had played 100 Tests by then. When I went to the dressing room, I found him crying. That might have strengthened him. Shedding tears at that moment was important. It was crucial that he felt bad at that moment for what emerged later," Bedi said on 'The Mid Wicket Tales' as reported by Hindustan Times.
Kapil Dev eventually got his man and got the record to his name. However, Kumble would go on to surpass him by some distance, as his tally of 616 scalps in the longest format of the game remains an Indian record and does not look likely to be broken anytime soon.