Sydney: Australian media paid a rich tribute to retired India captain Anil Kumble, saying the leg-spinner was a 'true gentleman of the game.'
"He leaves as the ultimate dusty-deck destroyer, Test cricket's third-highest wicket-taker and a reputation as one of the true gentlemen of the game," The Daily Telegraph wrote in its column.
Kumble ended his 18-year-long illustrious career by announcing his retirement in the third Test against Australia at the Ferozshah Kotla in New Delhi, Sunday.
"It was the right move by the veteran leg-spinner, who had been under pressure on several fronts. With only three wickets in this series to that point, and with a miserable captaincy record of three wins in 14 Tests, it was time for the 38-year-old to go," the daily said.
The Australian called Kumble a giant who unfortunately did not make a very successful captain.
"While Kumble will not be remembered for his captaincy, he was a giant as a player," the daily said.
The newspaper said Kumble's retirement will pave the way for Mahendra Singh Dhoni as skipper, which will be a a step in the right direction for the Indian cricket.
"It is fitting that Dhoni, the bubbly and charismatic one-day and Twenty20 captain, should take over the side."
Noted writer and former Somerset captain Peter Roebuck in his column in the Sydney Morning Herald said that Kumble's decision came at a perfect time as his bowling prowess was on a wane, highlighted by just three wickets in the ongoing series against Australia.
"Kumble's retirement was timely. Throughout his career the old warrior has been a master of worn pitches. In the past few years, his powers have waned and the sorcerer has become a spent force," he said.
The Englishman, now settled in Australia, said that Kumble's workman-like approach to the game set him apart from a maverick spin wizard Shane Warne.
"Whereas Warne was a gambler with a hand of aces, the Bangalorean was a dentist armed with a drill. Once he had the victim on his chair nothing escaped his attention. He has always been willing to bowl, has always been grumpy and fierce and competitive. Batsman might master him but none could destroy his will," Roebuck said.
"He never gave up, and with unyielding will and high intelligence, made the most of his abilities. He scored a Test hundred and never let his side down. A thousand pities the Australians did not speak to him in Sydney."
Roebuck went on to add that Kumble despite all his fighting spirit, would not have been able to continue with the injuries.
"Harbhajan was waiting in the wings and Amit Mishra had been taking wickets. Dhoni was ready to take over. And his pal Rahul Dravid was near the end. Also, he was just plain sore. Man cannot keep fighting, not against his own body. Sooner or later he must listen to it," he said.
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