Ankola made his Test debut in the same match as Sachin Tendulkar and Waqar Younis in Pakistan in 1989. This was unfortunately the first and last Test match he played. After retiring from cricket, Ankola made his celluloid debut in 2000 with the Sanjay Dutt-starrer Kurukshetra. He also acted in movies like Pitaah but was recognized for his negative role in Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne, which saw the debut of Esha Deol and Zayed Khan. In 2004, he did his last film, 'Silence Please...The Dressing Room'