Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan has revealed on Monday (September 17) that he wanted to become a fast-bowler while speaking in the sixth edition of Salaam Cricket 2018 in Dubai.
Muralitharan further went on to reveal that he started playing as fast-bowler and even tried leg-spin before settling in as an off-spinner. Muralitharan, who the most successful bowler in the history of Test cricket with 800 wickets to his name, also revealed that former Indian captains Mohammad Azharuddin and Kapil Dev helped him understand the tricks of the job.
As per reports in India Today, Muralitharan told reporters, “On my first overseas tour of India in 1990, I was getting hit everywhere despite getting wickets. I went to Azhar (Azharuddin) bhai in his room and asked how I could be consistent. Then I went to Kapil Dev and he said you can turn as much as I don't care, if you can't bowl straight, it's not going to spin.”
The legendary spinner further mentioned the inputs he received from former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq. He added, “I saw Saqlain Mushtaq then and he was bowling the doosra and I didn't understand and then I practiced and practiced and somehow I got my wrist in play. Nowadays people want to get more variations….Each person's grip is different and you have to adapt.”
Muralitharan signed off by saying, “When I started bowling, I had no clue how to get them (India and Pakistan batters) out, they used good defence…I was taking five wicket hauls but still they were scoring against me. The batting talent for spin was there because they were so good. These days if you are a spin bowler, you just have to bowl maiden overs and you get a five-wicket haul.”