The one word that you can associate perfectly with Anil Kumble is perseverance.
Every time he's hit for runs/a catch is dropped off his bowling, no animated gestures, back to his bowling mark, perhaps with his steely resolve only stronger. No wild celebrations with every wicket. And he's called Smiling Assassin for reasons.
And now with half a thousand test victims...Did you say nice guys always finish second?!
At a time where style takes over substance, he's one of our most under celebrated champions.
In a career spanning over 15 years he has weathered, injuries, insults like dropping from ODI and Test squad, poor overseas record(till recently), criticism that he's no classical leg spinner, all with dignity.
We took him for granted.When everything happens there's Kumble and when nothing happens there's always Kumble to fall back to!
I never saw him with a drooping shoulder.No gifted genius like Shane Warne/Muralitharan , he outlived his talent, constantly trying out new things, those subtle variations and importantly, more often than not, he thought the batsmen out(true to his eng traits!)
If look at India's test victories, Kumble is @ the center of the each frame.
No doubt, he would have made a great captain as well, sad that he never got an opportunity.
No wonder,when you look back/think of the man, more than the Hero Cup heroics, the perfect 10 against Pak, you recall, that inspirational act of bowling with a fractured jaw, against Windies...
True to the man, Braveheart Kumble...Keep going...