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Sight Screen

Friday, December 16, 2005

Spin twins ready for Motera

Kumble plays his 100th Test, Bajji his 50th, at the Motera; here, both have much to say of each other.
Balaji points out that after getting into the team at the 11th hour, 59th minute during the 2003 tour of Australia, Kumble has had a phenomenal run -- 120 wickets in 21 Tests, is the stat cited.
The really interesting bit about that haul, though, is who he has got his wickets against: 51 of the 120 are Aussie scalps, taken Down Under and then home; 32 are Pakistan wickets, again away and home. He has 14 wickets during this period against minnows Bangladesh and Zimbabwe; the rest come from Sri Lanka (13 so far this series) and South Africa (10). In the process, he has improved his strike rate by a good nine percentage points -- it is now a wicket every 54.1 deliveries, against a career strike rate of a wicket every 65.1 deliveries.
Bajji during the same time frame has played 14 matches and taken 59 wickets at an average of 31.08, marginally above his career average (28.53); his strike rate of 60.9 is a marginal improvement on his career strike rate of 62.3.
Like Kumble, he loves the Aussies -- 21 wickets in 3 Tests at home, 22 wickets in toto iin 4 Tests. 10 against Pak in 2 home Tests, and 13 against South Africa again in 2 Tests, are his other major hauls; 4 each against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and 6 against Zimbabwe round off the tally.


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