Averaging nearly six wickets per Test, Muttiah Muralitharan is one of the most successful bowlers in the game, the greatest player in Sri Lanka’s history, and without doubt the most controversial cricketer of the modern age. Muralitharan’s rise from humble beginnings, being the Tamil son of a hill-country confectioner, to the top of the wicket-takers’ list in Test cricket has divided the cricket world in the past decade because of his weird bent-arm bowling action.
He bowls marathon spells, yet is forever on the attack. From a loose-limbed, open-chested action, his chief weapons are the big-spinning off-break and two versions of the top-spinner, one of which goes straight on and the other, which has now been labelled his doosra, which spins in the opposite direction to his stock ball.
His newest variation is a version of Shane Warne’s slider, which is flicked out the side of his hand and rushes onto batsmen like a flipper. His super-flexible wrist makes him especially potent and guarantees him turn on any surface.
On the field, Murali continued to pile on the wickets, overtaking Courtney Walsh’s 519-wicket world record to become the highest wicket-taker in Test history in May 2004. It is unlikely that Muralitharan’s career will ever be controversy-free, a fact that he now accepts. But the rapid progress of technology and sports science in the past decade has undoubtedly salvaged his reputation.
At the rate he is accumulating wickets he will shortly join Warne on 700 Test wickets, but has indicated that the 2007 World Cup could be his one-day swansong as he tries to save his body for the longer form.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Wednesday, March 28th, 2007 and is filed under World Cup 2007.
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