The Mesmerizing Muralitharan
Murali joins the ‘300 club’.
By V Kumar 

The mesmerizing off-spinner from Sri Lanka grabbed the headlines during the 1st test between Sri Lanka and South Africa at Durban. Murali entered into the record books by taking the wicket of Shaun Pollock; his 300th victim.

Muralitharan’s achievement is not like any other achievement which can be forgotten in hurry. He is the second quickest bowler to take 300 wickets in the list of ‘300 club’. In fact, he has played fewer tests than the current pace-giant Glen McGrath !

Ever since the Sri Lankans have entered into the test-arena, there have not been a single world clubs bowler, till the Muthiah Muralidharan phenomenon happened; Murali is also the first Sri Lankan to get this out-standing feat.

But it has never been a bed of roses for the offfie. Murali has seen a very tough time (a nightmare). He has been called a ‘Chucker’ and has been ‘no-balled’ by the Australian Umpires. Only the people, who are made of sterner stuff, can overcome this kind of humiliating experience. But, thanks to the immense courage and support by his former captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, Murali fought and not only he fought, he conquered the over-whelming odds. Today, Sri Lanka has only one bowler to win a Test match and it is only Muthiah Muralitharan. Infact, he is carrying a load of responsibilities on his shoulders and he has always lived upto the expectations of his team.

Sri Lanka won two-consecutive test-series in Pakistan, due to Murali’s brilliant bowling. Of course, the effort of the batsmen cannot be discounted but it was Murali -“the wrecker in chief”.

And who can forget the haul of 16 for 220 against England at Oval Test, when Murali single handedly won the Test match for Sri Lanka. It is said that Murali is the kind of bowler, who can turn the ball even on glass! Murali has performed with the same dexterity at everyplace, wherever he’s played. In fact, he has never depended on any kind of help from the track. This is the quality which separates a good bowler to greater bowler.

Now, Murali has set an eye on the ‘500 club’, where only Courtney Walsh can go in the near future. But his aim is neither unrealistic nor unachievable. If his form continues like this for another two or three years, he might be the quickest to achieve the 500th wicket!  

Bowling summary against each country

Country M Balls Md Runs W Ave Best 5i 10m SR R/o
Australia 7 1838 46 922 22 41.91 5/71 1 - 83.55 3.01
England 2 1049 56 393 21 18.71 9/65 2 1 49.95 2.25
India 9 2757 101 1236 28 44.14 5/162 1 - 98.46 2.69
New Zealand 8 2245 102 912 39 23.38 5/30 3 - 57.56 2.44
Pakistan 11 3389 130 1495 60 24.92 6/71 4 1 56.48 2.65
South Africa 9 3661 146 1397 69 20.24 7/84 8 2 53.06 2.29
West Indies 3 683 36 1294 20 14.70 5/34 2 - 34.15 2.58
Zimbabwe 9 3001 154 954 43 22.19 7/94 3 1 69.79 1.91
Total 58 18623 771 7603 302 25.18 9/65 24 5 61.67 2.45




 


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