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I would have liked to bowl to Richards - Murali

August 21, 2009

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Muttiah Muralitharan appeals, Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Dhaka, 5th day, December 31, 2008
Muttiah Muralitharan: "In the Test match I need to plan for wickets and be imaginative. Twenty20, on the other hand, is all about forcing mistakes" © AFP
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Players/Officials: Muttiah Muralitharan

From: Ravindra P Deshpande

Who is the best batsman you have ever bowled to? What exactly do you think when the batsman is on rampage and what is the reason that you never bowl in field restriction?

There have been lots of good batsmen I've bowled to but perhaps Brian Lara was the biggest challenge. He is very good against spin and is an amazing player. When a player is on the attack I relax and stick to my basics. I'll set some deep fielders and then wait for a mistake, make slight variations in spin, flight and pace. When a batsman is attacking he is taking risks. Just one mistake and you have their wicket. So patience is the key. Don't try too many things.

From: Rajesh

Hi Murali, I am great fan of your bowling. I just want to know how to generate more revolution on the ball. Please give me tips

You can build up the strength of your wrist by squashing a squash ball or practicing spinning any ball. As a kid I always used to flick balls from hand to hand while relaxing at home and that helps get your muscles used to spinning the ball. But the amount of spin also depends on your body action so you need to look at you entire action and run-up to make sure sufficient energy is being transferred onto the ball.

From: Ejaz Ahmed

As a Pakistan team fan I do not like you as you take too many wickets against us but as a cricketer I really admire you achievements. You are a true champion and a real hero. So after retirement how would you spend your time?

I am not sure yet, to be honest. I will spend time with my family and no doubt coach my son Naren, who loves cricket now. I may also do some coaching at some stage.

From: Hariharan Sriram

If you were to pick three batsmen across all generations that you wish to bowl to and similarly, three bowlers to bowl in tandem with, who would it be?

Well, I was always a big fan of Sir Vivian Richards and it would be an honour to bowl to him. I'd loved to have bowled at Sir Don Bradman as well. As for bowling partners, I always loved bowling with Vaasy so someone similar who can maintain pressure at the other end - perhaps Richard Hadlee or Glenn McGrath. Or a spinner like Anil Kumble or Abdul Qadir.

From: Gilly_da_gr8 (aka S Aravind)

, I want to chat with you about the difference between the three formats of the game. How does pressure arise in each format and at what stage? A little more about Test match decisions you international players take. I also want to get a bit of technical knowledge on off spin from you.

Test cricket is the toughest form of the game, mentally and physically. It is the ultimate challenge for a player and it is the most rewarding personally. In the Test match I need to plan for wickets and be imaginative. Twenty20, on the other hand, is all about forcing mistakes. As a spinner you get more wickets by being tight, creating pressure through a lack of runs and letting the batsman make mistakes. However, in general, the best way to create pressure in all three formats is by restricting runs. People forget this sometimes. Accuracy as a bowler is essential.

From: Venkatesh Murugan

Hi Mali, you should concentrate on slow balls. Because batsmen like Sehwag are able to face your yorkers but what I observed is he is struggling with the slower one.

Hello Venkat, I will definitely bowl slower balls at Sehwag just like I do with all batsmen.

From: Sudipta Mitra

Do you think spinners have an advantage in Twenty20 format, specially because you take the pace out of the ball whereas a fast bowler is relatively easy to score off ?

That depends on the conditions - the pitch, the size of the boundary and the weather. It also depends on the stage when you bowl. Spinners can be match-winners in some conditions but sometimes they might also be easier to hit. I don't think you can make sweeping generalisations. For example, it is very tough for a spinner to bowling during the Powerplays because the batsman can hit over the top.

From: Pandurang

Against which batsman do you find it hard to bowl?

Brian Lara was the hardest. Sometimes Tendulkar.

From: Jitendra Sharma

What do you think about Tendulkar to be a part of Twenty20 World Cup?

That depends on him. If he wants to play he is obviously still good enough. Experience is very useful in the T20 game because you have to be able to handle pressure. Tendulkar can do that and he can score quickly.

From: Balaji

You seem to take more wickets with SL squad but not with the Chennai Super Kings. Why is it so?

My role varies from team to team - sometimes I am needed to take wickets and sometimes I am needed to restrict the run scoring at crucial stages of the innings. You can't measure effectiveness without understanding the role each individual has been assigned in the team.

From: Nikhil

You have been amazing the world with your off-spin for many years now.

Thanks for your e-mail and support.

From: Lokesh

In your career how many wicket do you want to take?

I'll be happy passing 800 now because I plan to retire from Test cricket at the end of 2010.

From: Annesley De Abrew

Murali the greatest ever in Spin history. Now the whole world have to agree that Murali is the greatest. Specially the Australians! He proved it to the world.

Thanks for the support Annesley!

From: Suhara

Dear Murali, What is your favourite format of cricket? Also which batsmen do you hate bowling to the most?.

I enjoy all formats to be honest. But the most enjoying thing is winning as a team. So I enjoy the tournaments and series where my team is doing well.

From: M Shah

Do not retire unless: 1 You are no longer able to give good performance. 2 You have something better to do. Muralitharan is still very effective. So he should retire only if he has something better to do than bowling..

Thanks but physically Test cricket is very tough and I am getting old now so I have to give up next year. I will continue playing ODI and Twenty20 cricket.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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