January 14, 2005
Kumble is top wicket-taker for 2004

As Australia consolidated its dominance in world cricket in 2004, perhaps the most reassuring factor for them was the return to form and fitness of its fearsome duo of pace man Glen McGrath and the wily warrior Shane Waine.{{more}}

Between them they captured no fewer than 117 scalps in the year, this after McGrath in particular was being written off in some quarters as a spent force. The length and line specialist gave an emphatic rebuff to these speculators so much so that he began 2005 as the world’s top-ranked bowler in the Price Waterhouse Cooper’s (PWC) ratings.

However, the most successful bowler in test cricket in 2004 was India’s leg spinner Ancl Kumble. The lanky battler had a haul of 74 wickets from his 12 Tests in the year at and average of 24.83 runs per wicket. In the process he passed Kapil Dev’s 434 Test wickets to be India’s top wicket taker of all time. Remarkably in the dozen Tests he played, Kumble six times took five or more wickets in an innings, twice taking 10 or more in a match. He was one of the three spinners in the top Test for 2004. They were Shane Waine, 70 wickets, and Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharar.