Speaking at an event in Mumbai, Muralitharan acknowledged that while several Indian batting stalwarts like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, and Gautam Gambhir were able to decipher his bowling, the current head coach of the Indian team, Dravid, found it challenging to read his deliveries during playing days.
This highlights the skill and effectiveness of Muralitharan’s bowling, which posed difficulties even for some of the most accomplished batsmen in the world.
“He (Sachin Tendulkar) read me very well. Not many people can do (that). (Brian) Lara had success but he never hit me also,” Muralitharan said during the trailer launch of his biopic titled ‘800′.
“I know a few people, like Rahul Dravid, he is one of the greatest players but he never read me. Sachin and (Virender Sehwag) and (Gautam) Gambhir would read. Even in my team some people read and some did not.”
The legendary Tendulkar, who was present on the occasion, recalled his first meeting with the spin wizard.
“I remember meeting him for the first time in 1992-93, and we have continued to be good friends.
“He just loved bowling and the whole world knew he had a big turner. You make him bowl on an expressway and he would turn the ball. No matter how the surface is.
“He had developed the ‘doosra’ but spent a lot of time practicing it in the nets. For 18 months he continued practicing the ‘doosra’ in the nets before he bowled the first ball in international cricket. The reason for that was he should not lose his original strengths and the qualities that he possessed,” Tendulkar added.
Muralitharan returned the compliment.
“What he (Sachin) has done in cricket, nobody can do. It is a fact. It is impossible for someone to get into First-Class cricket at 15 years, getting a Test hundred at 16-17 years (of age). Another Sachin Tendulkar won’t be born in my life (time),” Muralitharan added.
(With PTI inputs)