Melbourne: The “ultimate dusty-deck destroyer and one of the true gentlemen of the game” was how the media down under paid tribute to Anil Kumble.

“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,” wrote The Daily Telegraph paying tribute to the 38-year-old. “It was the right move by the veteran leg-spinner, who had been under pressure on several fronts,” it added.

Noted cricket writer Peter Roebuck felt the decision was well-timed as Kumble’s magic was fast on the wane, highlighted by just three wickets that he took 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,” he said.

“Whereas Warne was a gambler with a hand of aces, Kumble 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,” he added.

The Australian, meanwhile, called Kumble a giant of the game.

The newspaper said Kumble’s retirement paves the way for M.S. Dhoni as skipper, which is a step in the right direction for Indian cricket. — PTI

More In: SPORT | Today's Paper