July 9, 2010

Murali v Warne

Murali's wickets against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are often held against him, so here's how his stats stack up against Warne's after excluding those performances
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Muttiah Muralitharan or Shane Warne? That's perhaps one of the most fascinating debates going around in cricket (even if one of the protagonists has retired), and it's only likely to gather further steam with the other's decision to quit Test cricket in a couple of weeks. Both bowlers will undoubtedly go down as legends, and yet each camp has its staunch set of supporters, who not only lift their own hero, but also, unfortunately, enjoy tearing the achievements of the other. This column attempts to do away with all the other aspects, and compares them only on the basis of their stats, looking at their numbers along certain meaningful parameters.

One of the pet peeves of the Murali baiters is his record against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. It's not his fault that he has played so many matches against them, but it's also a fact that those games have significantly improved his overall stats: in 25 Tests against those two teams, Murali has taken 176 wickets at an average of 15.09 and a strike rate of 42 - both those stats are much better than his overall career numbers. By contrast, Warne has only played three Tests against those two sides. Taking this disparity into account, all Tests against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have been excluded for the purpose of this analytical exercise.

What's immediately obvious is that Murali's tally of 792 wickets shrinks to 616 when his haul against those two teams is excluded; Warne's aggregate, meanwhile, drops only by 17, to 691. However, while Murali's average rises by about two runs, it's still marginally better than Warne's 25.40. The difference, though, becomes miniscule.

Both bowlers have found Indian batsmen difficult to bowl to, and that's indicated in their numbers, though Warne's average is much poorer, and he only has one five-for against India in 14 Tests. Murali has also been far more influential in wins, taking, on average, more than eight wickets in these 32 Tests. (That, though, is also a telling commentary on Sri Lanka's dependence on him; Australia, on the other hand, had several bowling match-winners.)

Comparing Murali and Warne
  Murali - Tests Wkts Average 5WI/ 10WM Warne - Tests Wkts Average 5WI/ 10WM
v all teams 132 792 22.71 66/ 22 145 708 25.41 37/ 10
v all excl Zim and B'desh 107 616 24.88 49/ 16 142 691 25.40 36/ 10
v India 21 97 33.34 6/ 2 14 43 47.18 1/ 0
in wins (excl Zim and B'desh) 32 261 17.70 23/ 12 89 493 22.36 26/ 7
outside subcontinent (excl Zim) 29 162 25.85 14/ 5 119 575 25.13 26/ 7
4th innings (excl Zim and B'desh) 34 98 20.74 7/ 7 60 138 23.14 7/ 4

If Murali's advantage was the number of matches he played in spin-friendly conditions, then Warne's plus was the support he got from the rest of the Australian bowlers. Murali's stats at home are much better than Warne's, but overseas his average goes up to almost 29. Both bowlers struggled in India, with their averages sailing well into the 40s. Murali supporters often claim Warne had the advantage of playing against England repeatedly, and the stats below suggest that's an opportunity Murali would have relished as well: in the six Tests Murali played in England, he averaged eight wickets per match, and nailed his victims at less than 20 apiece. A few more Tests there during his peak years surely wouldn't have hurt his career stats.

Murali and Warne in different regions (excl Zimbabwe and Bangladesh)
  Murali - Tests Wkts Average 5WI/ 10WM Warne - Tests Wkts Average 5WI/ 10WM
Home 58 364 22.19 31/ 10 69 319 26.39 15/ 4
Away 49 252 28.78 18/ 6 70 345 25.49 19/ 5
In India 11 40 45.45 2/ 0 9 34 43.11 1/ 0
in Asia 78 454 24.54 35/ 11 23 116 26.77 10/ 3
in England 6 48 19.20 5/ 3 22 129 21.94 8/ 3

Arguably the biggest difference for the two spinners has been the kind of support they've received throughout their careers. Whereas Warne had the likes of Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie to soften the batsmen (and also eat into his share of wickets), Murali only had Chaminda Vaas as a regular high-class bowler in the line-up. The table below compares the performances of the support acts to Warne and Murali. In the 106 Tests he played against the top teams, the other bowlers in the Sri Lankan team took only 889 wickets to Murali's 611, and conceded almost 40 runs per wicket. There were only three ten-wicket hauls by other bowlers to Murali's 16, with Vaas getting two and Ajantha Mendis one. That meant Murali had to do most of the work himself, and he did, bowling 33% of the team's overs and taking 41% of the wickets.

Warne, on the other hand, had all the support he needed (and perhaps some he didn't). The Australian bowlers took almost twice as many wickets as the Sri Lankans did, and three times as many five-fors (69 to 23). All that meant Warne only took 28% of all wickets taken by Australia in the matches he played.

Support for Murali and Warne (excl Zim and B'desh)
  Tests Wickets Average Strike rate 5WI/ 10WM
Muttiah Muralitharan 106 611 24.83 58.7 49/ 16
Other Sri Lankan bowlers 106 889 39.88 80.48 23/ 3
Shane Warne 142 691 25.40 57.6 36/ 10
Other Australian bowlers 142 1754 27.97 58.38 69/ 5

With McGrath and Gillespie often accounting for the top-order wickets, Warne usually didn't have the opportunity to have a go at them, which is reflected in his percentage of top-order victims - lower compared to Murali, who often came on to bowl when the opposition hadn't lost too many wickets. Warne winkled out the tail more often, with the last three batsmen accounting for almost 27% of his victims, compared with less than 23% for Murali.

Break-up of wickets for Murali and Warne (excl Zim and B'desh)
  Murali - wkts Percentage Warne - wkts Percentage
Right-handers 471 76.46 521 75.40
Left-handers 145 23.54 170 24.60
Batsmen in top 6 351 56.98 373 53.98
Batsmen in bottom 3 139 22.56 184 26.63
Bowled 127 20.62 114 16.50
Lbw 114 18.51 134 19.39
Caught 337 54.71 407 58.90
Stumped 37 6.01 36 5.21

It's hardly surprising that Murali's list of batsmen dismissed most often is dominated by players from the subcontinent (and a Zimbabwean; though Mark Boucher heads the list), while Warne's list is dominated by Englishmen. But to check the averages of individual batsmen against them, we need ball-by-ball data, which Cricinfo has for all international games from May 2001. The next two tables look at the performances of some of the top batsmen against Murali and Warne over these years. Interestingly, both played almost exactly the same number of matches during this period, and had very similar averages: Murali averaged 23.86 in 54 Tests (against the top teams only), while Warne averaged 23.94 from 56 matches.

During this period, Brian Lara clearly had the better of Murali, but Sachin Tendulkar's record is pretty ordinary, as is Kevin Pietersen's. Most of the other Indian batsmen have done well against him, though.

Murali v top batsmen since May 17, 2001
Batsman Balls Runs Dismissals Average
Sachin Tendulkar 295 148 5 29.60
Brian Lara 710 373 3 124.33
Ricky Ponting 243 172 2 86.00
Rahul Dravid 660 316 5 63.20
VVS Laxman 431 207 2 103.50
Virender Sehwag 238 217 3 72.33
Jacques Kallis 205 88 1 88.00
Kevin Pietersen 236 168 6 28.00
Inzamam-ul-Haq 148 80 1 80.00
Matthew Hayden 218 142 5 28.40

Warne's stats are a mixed bag too: he has superb numbers against Andrew Strauss and Marcus Trescothick, but Pietersen and Jacques Kallis have handled him much better. He didn't bowl much against the Indians during this period, and not at all to Tendulkar.

Warne v top batsmen since May 17, 2001
Batsman Balls Runs Dismissals Average
Kevin Pietersen 522 308 5 61.60
Jacques Kallis 550 280 5 56.00
Kumar Sangakkara 207 127 4 31.75
Brian Lara 168 105 3 35.00
Virender Sehwag 95 78 3 26.00
Mahela Jayawardene 196 92 2 46.00
Michael Vaughan 285 131 3 43.67
Marcus Trescothick 219 147 8 18.37
Andrew Strauss 245 140 8 17.50

Most of the numbers above suggest there's little to choose between the two bowlers, which is exactly as it should be when comparing two legends of the game.

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | July 16, 2010, 22:40 GMT

    i think warne is the better bowler as it comes to terms of getting a batsman out, he as plan to work with and lures them into his trap whereas murali does not have this setup ready and just relies on the batman making a mistake ( which they often do against his highclass bowling but that aside)

  • POSTED BY SzlyAr on | July 16, 2010, 15:48 GMT

    Yes, comparing both these spin legends is not fair but I'd say, Warne had a major role to play in winning matches for Aus. Although, Aus' front line bowlers did most of the damage but Warne still had figured in many of match turning spells. I barely can remember Murali turning the match on it's head baring the Old Trafford Test where he dominated England from the word go but still can't figure out a spell or bowling performance where he had changed the game for Sri Lanka!

  • POSTED BY on | July 16, 2010, 11:17 GMT

    Both are great bowlers! no question about that! but if you do exclude Murali's records against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe then you should also go ahead and exclude the records Warne obtained when he played against the English in the 90s. The Zimbabweans were miles better than some of the English sides in the 90s who were easy picking during Warne's ashes campaign. Saying all that a wicket is a wicket and let the record speak without altering them just because the opposition was weak!

  • POSTED BY on | July 16, 2010, 4:09 GMT

    I do not imagine Murali would have sat down to feast on tandoori paranthas early in the morning and then snored away to glory , had he not played those Bangaldesh and Zimbabwe matches.He would have taken at least a 100 if not 176 wickets playing against some other opposition and still have nosed ahead of Warne.Time is at a premium in an international career, so dont just take those wickets out of the equation.

  • POSTED BY pradeep_dealwis on | July 15, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    i think it's fair to say that the quality of AUS bowling during Warne's time cut into his share of wickets, and Murali only has Vaas as a regular quality bowler hence accounting for more 5-for and ten-fors for Murali and more wickets per match.. that being said Warne had to deal less with top-order batsman and always had someone to add pressure on the other side, if not for the McGraths, Lees etc he would have had to contend more often with Tendulkar, Lara, Inzimam, Arvinda de Silva and Dravid...and many more quality batsman...and his average would have been much higher. Of course there are other factors as well...as the strength of your teams batting that puts pressure on the opposition, enforcing follow-ons or follow-ons being enforced on your team etc.. Overall both of them were legends and so it should be.

  • POSTED BY Ijaz-fb on | July 15, 2010, 15:40 GMT

    Murali is way ahead than warne....End of the day only the final stats should be compared...he has a better average than warne..has bowled really well against indians who play spin well...5 wicket and 10 wicket hauls are double than warne eventhough he played lesser amounts of matches than warne...its true that he bowled in spinner friendly wickets but he is a finger spinner..but in case of warne he is a leg spinner..Leg spinners can purchase more turn out of most tracks..and he has been helped by the bounce factor in aussie wickets which murali doesnt enjoy in sub continent..and another major factor to consider is that Murali didnt have support bowler in the caliber like Glen Mcgrath for shane warne...

  • POSTED BY Host.co.in on | July 15, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    Murli is better than Warne and more good thing is that he remained away from any type of contraventions and on the other hand Warn lost his reputation many time due to the activities outside the ground. I personally thinks that we should ask this questions to top 10 test batsmen of the world and see whom they find more difficult to face.

  • POSTED BY CanThrowCantBat on | July 15, 2010, 0:39 GMT

    Well I don't really care how the stats stack up, they are both magnificent bowlers and both have strong cases to put forward as to why one is better than the other. If I was picking a Best XI for the last 20 years I would be sorely tempted to pick both in a tandem spin attack with Wasim & McGrath. But then if I could only take one of them or was asked to pick the better "cricketer" I would have to go with Warne: he is without doubt a much better fielder & batsman than Murali. And though he didn't capatin in tests Warnie improved his performance in ODIs as captain and excelled as captain for Rajasthan. Irrespective of whether people think he was a chucker, Murali should be lauded for his longevity and the spirit in which he played the game.

  • POSTED BY BillyCC on | July 14, 2010, 23:56 GMT

    A lot of people are quoting the studies performed over the past ten years, which ultimately resulted in 99% of bowlers being deemed chuckers at some point in a game of cricket. The significance of such a large percentage should actually raise suspicions of whether the testing and the science behind it is actually right. Note that the tests don't actually prove Murali was clean. All it does is show that under those testing conditions, all bowlers are not clean in their delivery. So maybe we need a new definition of chucking that's not dependent on the straightening of the arm/elbow or whatever. Personally, I think science and technology cannot prove whether someone is chucking or not. It should be left up to the umpires and a naked eye assessment.

  • POSTED BY Vignes1961 on | July 14, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    I did a similar analysis in rec.sport.cricket a while ago.

    1. I think it would be useful to do the top level wickets (1-2-3 4-5-6-7 and 8-9-10-11). 2. During Murali's early days, Sri Lanka had to bat twice, and Murali had to bowl only one innings. 3. Murli bowled to some quality Zimbabweans.

  • POSTED BY on | July 16, 2010, 22:40 GMT

    i think warne is the better bowler as it comes to terms of getting a batsman out, he as plan to work with and lures them into his trap whereas murali does not have this setup ready and just relies on the batman making a mistake ( which they often do against his highclass bowling but that aside)

  • POSTED BY SzlyAr on | July 16, 2010, 15:48 GMT

    Yes, comparing both these spin legends is not fair but I'd say, Warne had a major role to play in winning matches for Aus. Although, Aus' front line bowlers did most of the damage but Warne still had figured in many of match turning spells. I barely can remember Murali turning the match on it's head baring the Old Trafford Test where he dominated England from the word go but still can't figure out a spell or bowling performance where he had changed the game for Sri Lanka!

  • POSTED BY on | July 16, 2010, 11:17 GMT

    Both are great bowlers! no question about that! but if you do exclude Murali's records against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe then you should also go ahead and exclude the records Warne obtained when he played against the English in the 90s. The Zimbabweans were miles better than some of the English sides in the 90s who were easy picking during Warne's ashes campaign. Saying all that a wicket is a wicket and let the record speak without altering them just because the opposition was weak!

  • POSTED BY on | July 16, 2010, 4:09 GMT

    I do not imagine Murali would have sat down to feast on tandoori paranthas early in the morning and then snored away to glory , had he not played those Bangaldesh and Zimbabwe matches.He would have taken at least a 100 if not 176 wickets playing against some other opposition and still have nosed ahead of Warne.Time is at a premium in an international career, so dont just take those wickets out of the equation.

  • POSTED BY pradeep_dealwis on | July 15, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    i think it's fair to say that the quality of AUS bowling during Warne's time cut into his share of wickets, and Murali only has Vaas as a regular quality bowler hence accounting for more 5-for and ten-fors for Murali and more wickets per match.. that being said Warne had to deal less with top-order batsman and always had someone to add pressure on the other side, if not for the McGraths, Lees etc he would have had to contend more often with Tendulkar, Lara, Inzimam, Arvinda de Silva and Dravid...and many more quality batsman...and his average would have been much higher. Of course there are other factors as well...as the strength of your teams batting that puts pressure on the opposition, enforcing follow-ons or follow-ons being enforced on your team etc.. Overall both of them were legends and so it should be.

  • POSTED BY Ijaz-fb on | July 15, 2010, 15:40 GMT

    Murali is way ahead than warne....End of the day only the final stats should be compared...he has a better average than warne..has bowled really well against indians who play spin well...5 wicket and 10 wicket hauls are double than warne eventhough he played lesser amounts of matches than warne...its true that he bowled in spinner friendly wickets but he is a finger spinner..but in case of warne he is a leg spinner..Leg spinners can purchase more turn out of most tracks..and he has been helped by the bounce factor in aussie wickets which murali doesnt enjoy in sub continent..and another major factor to consider is that Murali didnt have support bowler in the caliber like Glen Mcgrath for shane warne...

  • POSTED BY Host.co.in on | July 15, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    Murli is better than Warne and more good thing is that he remained away from any type of contraventions and on the other hand Warn lost his reputation many time due to the activities outside the ground. I personally thinks that we should ask this questions to top 10 test batsmen of the world and see whom they find more difficult to face.

  • POSTED BY CanThrowCantBat on | July 15, 2010, 0:39 GMT

    Well I don't really care how the stats stack up, they are both magnificent bowlers and both have strong cases to put forward as to why one is better than the other. If I was picking a Best XI for the last 20 years I would be sorely tempted to pick both in a tandem spin attack with Wasim & McGrath. But then if I could only take one of them or was asked to pick the better "cricketer" I would have to go with Warne: he is without doubt a much better fielder & batsman than Murali. And though he didn't capatin in tests Warnie improved his performance in ODIs as captain and excelled as captain for Rajasthan. Irrespective of whether people think he was a chucker, Murali should be lauded for his longevity and the spirit in which he played the game.

  • POSTED BY BillyCC on | July 14, 2010, 23:56 GMT

    A lot of people are quoting the studies performed over the past ten years, which ultimately resulted in 99% of bowlers being deemed chuckers at some point in a game of cricket. The significance of such a large percentage should actually raise suspicions of whether the testing and the science behind it is actually right. Note that the tests don't actually prove Murali was clean. All it does is show that under those testing conditions, all bowlers are not clean in their delivery. So maybe we need a new definition of chucking that's not dependent on the straightening of the arm/elbow or whatever. Personally, I think science and technology cannot prove whether someone is chucking or not. It should be left up to the umpires and a naked eye assessment.

  • POSTED BY Vignes1961 on | July 14, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    I did a similar analysis in rec.sport.cricket a while ago.

    1. I think it would be useful to do the top level wickets (1-2-3 4-5-6-7 and 8-9-10-11). 2. During Murali's early days, Sri Lanka had to bat twice, and Murali had to bowl only one innings. 3. Murli bowled to some quality Zimbabweans.

  • POSTED BY Samar_Singh on | July 14, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    I salute both the legends but i consider Murli to be better than Warne... We should not forget that Warne was playing for the team which had the best batter, bowler and not to forget the best fielders... There were immediate pressure put on the batsmen by Glen Mcgrah and Co with lots of early dismissal which would put pressure on the following batsmen and Warne would exploit it more... Aussies are known to hold 90% of catches which is not the case with other country except for SA... and the most interesting thing is aussies have won lots of match with inning defeat that means their bowler got more chances to improve their wicket tally...But the greatest reminder is "Murli is a better human being than this naughty/controversial Warne" ....bravo Murli ....

  • POSTED BY mathies on | July 14, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    if your analyse Murali under "outside subcontinent (excl Zim)" becoz it is spinner-friendly wickets, then all fast bowlers analysis should be have "except fast track" category.

    I think you downgrade subcontinent wickets.

  • POSTED BY WajiraB on | July 14, 2010, 7:20 GMT

    i respect bothe these great bowlers. masters of their own descipline . so let them stand based on the stats and the good impact they made to the game rather than disgracing them based on our perception and likes/ dislikes

  • POSTED BY WajiraB on | July 14, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    well its really sad to see that people who supports warne saying that 15 degree rule was amended for murali. Feel sorry for you people because you all are making you seil look like fools by not knowing what are you all talking. i hope you cna see the facts and it was shown that only sarwan is the legitimate bowler as per the older rule . in such case all the wickets taken by who ever bowled in cricket should be discarted and sarwan becomes the best wicket taker. lets not just try to undo ones achievements but putting illlogical argumants. similarly some say to remove bangladesh and Zimbabwe. i have to say tow things- 1. these are test playing nations which got test status from ICC. so they qualify for any comparison. 2. if we are to remove poor performance then we have to remove poor performing countries from Sir Brandmans record also. and see where his average stands. Ausi friends then its no 99. something. so please dont try to make Warne a better bowler and Mulari a cheater.

  • POSTED BY Jed23 on | July 14, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    How can having decent teammates be compared as equal to getting to bowl on the sub continent pitches? You could argue that if not for the likes of McGrath, Dizzy, B.Lee etc there would have been more wickets on offer for Warne to take. The article even said he struggled bowling in Australia coz the pitches were too hard for him so how's the stat man gonna tweak that one to even things up for Murali. I think it's funny that an article had to come out defending Murali and pleading his case. If it was an objective report Murali's character (however nice-a-guy he is) wouldn't be in there at all.

  • POSTED BY _Pog_ on | July 14, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    Murali is also ahead of Warne for the number of times that he's been no balled for throwing.

  • POSTED BY RobTay14 on | July 14, 2010, 3:11 GMT

    Have to say Warne is a bit of a show pony, nut none the less a good bowler, however for me, Murali is the better of the two. Cricinfo, you should do a big survey for people who use this website and ask who they think is the better cricketer.

  • POSTED BY Ausgal24 on | July 13, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    Well, Warne hardly has any female fans left because of his off the field escapades, and the effects on this family life. Murali has had a clean career, never seen him sledge/misbehave on the field, which probably makes him a more likeable character, in my book. I don't think Sri Lanka have so much influence in the ICC, that the rules would have been changed to accommodate just one bowler! A lot of Australian bowlers were seen to be bending the arm illegally as per the old rule, that's why not much resistance was shown to the rule modification. Poor Murali despite being a legend, and having the best stats ever, still has to put him with the jealousy of his peers and ridiculously biased crowds and supporters.

  • POSTED BY Cast_Iron_Head on | July 13, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    Firstly, I must admit I enjoy seeing Warne bowl more and only because of his showmanship. BUT Murali is a better bowler, by far. AND this analysis is biased and wrong.

    Like many before me have pointed out. English were the worst players of spin. More so than Zimbabwe and B'desh. Warne had much better support in creating pressure from his fellow bowlers. A better bowling unit helps each and every bowler as the batsman can never really relax. Bowling more also shows stamina and longevity. Warne was almost always backed by big totals, a luxury Murali never really had. Warne was also backed by a better fielding unit (Waugh &Taylor especially). Murali doesn't chuck. If he does then so did McGrath, Pollock, in fact almost every bowler except Sarwan. Getting top order wickets is considerably more difficult than cleaning tailenders. Without going into Warne's showmanship & intimidation of the umpires, one must also realise that Warne was a matchfixer and took drugs, something everyone forgets

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    Yes all good,except the rules were changed for only one bowler.....go figure

  • POSTED BY Strafer on | July 13, 2010, 5:30 GMT

    I don't think stats should be discluded from England, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh etc. This is just cricket, you sometimes play more team more than others, that's the way it goes. Murali is a bowler with a bewildering style and array of deliveries and a top class player, Warne is a technically amazing bowler with unerring accuracy and a tactical approach. I think there are various reasons why stats never tell the whole story and thus as a basis for comparision it's only one done so from a "well where CAN we start" perspective. It is certainly not where a comparison ends.

    Murali's stats ARE better. But, does that make him the better spinner? Perhaps, perhaps not. Murali's stats would no doubt be slightly improved by his favourable home pitches (which by a rule of thumb you would play more than half of your matches on) and his relative lack of competitiion for cleaning up entire teams (he had no McGraths, Gillespies, Lee's to compete with). These are all contextual details that stats hide.

  • POSTED BY on | July 13, 2010, 1:51 GMT

    Murali is the Best.. next comes Warne. Thanks to the writer, his column answers all critics... truly Murali is ahead of Warne... even if u ignore b'desh n zim factor.

  • POSTED BY rjPrz on | July 12, 2010, 12:07 GMT

    Y exclude those countries, what happen we exclude ENG from both players and then compare. Shan Warne didnt play much with those countries so excluding them is unfair.

  • POSTED BY chandau on | July 12, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    Rajesh , why not give us some stats on the performance of these 2 in the English county championships. I remember Murali created a record for most number of wickets in a season or something like that. @4thelement : dont speak of things you dont know. The law was changed not to include murali but to include 99% of the bowlers, after a video analysis in 2004. The fact i remember well is that Shaun Pollock who people thought had the most perfect action since Sir Richard Hadlee, bent his arm!! the best part was according to the analysis the best action was .... Ramnaresh Sarwan :) If the world was going to question Murali and subject him to tests and ridicule, then most of the bowlers would have to get the same, which would have meant the end of CRICKET!! With the advance of time technology provides man with different perspectives. Pity u r still a cave man mate. cheers

  • POSTED BY 68704 on | July 12, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    Two great bowlers - one from the sub-continent and another from Australia. They were champions of their art and inspired a whole generation to try and bowl spin and hopefully we will inspire many more future champions. Warne clearly showcased his prowess better. Was the Gatting ball,the ball of the century? Who knows, but he certainly planted that thought in our collective heads!Both of them were rellativley ineffective against Indians and to a certain extent against Pakistan as well. England"s pathetic record against wrist spinners was further reinforced by their almost pitiiful displays against Warne. Warne had McGrath certaiinly and some wonderful catching support- not the least of who was Mark taylor, a shrewd captain and a pretty nifty catcher. Murali had Ranatunga supporting him through thick and thin. They both gave tremendous joy to people like me. My vote -Warne for the cleanest action that one could see! Miss you Murali and hope to see you for the CSK! Ramanujam sridhar.

  • POSTED BY BillyCC on | July 12, 2010, 1:19 GMT

    Since this is a forum about statistics, I will only comment on the stats. Murali is statisically the greatest bowler ever to play the game. There is no doubt about it. His stats are amazing; number of wickets per game and the endurance factor are the two that really stand out for me. 711 wickets in your last 109 tests is not something that can ever be matched again.

  • POSTED BY __PK on | July 11, 2010, 22:20 GMT

    "One of the pet peeves of the Murali baiters is his record against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh" There's only one pet peeve of the Murali baiters and it's been totally ignored in this article. Remove the stats from the period before a law was changed to make his action legal and then see how he stacks up.

  • POSTED BY 4thelement on | July 11, 2010, 14:20 GMT

    Warne is not only the best spinner ever produced by the planet but also one of the few finest cricketers ever borned, a smart cricketer with huge amount of geniousity to turn the games. Though its not to disgrace Murli, but Warne is an undisputed king of Spin Bowling and is among the top cricketers ever borned. He was the best captain australia never had, so shall lead my World XI. Warne was heavily inspired by Abdul Qadir(a legend). He also never had any allegation about his bowling, Murli was naturally gifted and a certain chuker who should have accepted that fact but he never he certainly was a chuker or the other hand Warne was a versatile bowler who was the another form of the Spin bowling who could be called as a kind of spin bowling ultimately different to the others. The above stats also prove Mural's inferiority to Warne.

  • POSTED BY NALINWIJ on | July 11, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    MURALI and WARNE are both legends but Warne also used gamesmanship and bullshit to harass batsmen. One famous incident was when Warne was bowling to Hashan Tilakaratne when he made a series of loud pointless appeals for LBW that had the umpire bemused wondering why? This harassement paved the way for the straight bowl that was snicked to the keeper. The legitamacy of Murali's action is based on scientific evidence pioneered in Australia and the realisation that many bowler's action involve a small degree of extension. Hair and Emerson's caling No ball was based on an archaic decision in 1960 allowing umpires to no ball if the action looked suspect and this decision had no scientific backing.The first victim was Mekiff who also had a fixed flexion deformity. The obvious fact is that extension at elbow joint is best seen from the side and umpire is behind and cannot judge. murali made the umpires look rediculous by bowling leg spinners that were no balled because he looked suspect.

  • POSTED BY NISH67 on | July 11, 2010, 12:38 GMT

    As 2 great spinners , Murali and Warne compare favorably . Whilst Murali had the advantage of playing more matches than Warne against Zim and Bang , Warne preyed on the inadequacies and deficiencies of English and SA batsman against high quality spin , which advantage Murali was not given ( a scrutiny of Murali's record against SA and England in the few games that he played will reflect favorably on this argument ) . Where there is no comparison between the two is as Gentlemen - Murali wins hands down as Warne has shown himself to be a shady character through his dealings with alleged bookmakers , His sexual promiscuity , Drug problems etc , although the Aussies like to refer to him as a role model ????

  • POSTED BY on | July 11, 2010, 11:19 GMT

    Warne benefited from playing so many matches against England who during Warne's period were the worst spin players than even Bangladesh. Murali has only played 6 test matches against England. Murali in English country cricket was mesmerizing the English batters. So Rajesh good analysis but exclude England, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh from the analysis and see the results. It will prove who is the very best.

  • POSTED BY tjm123 on | July 11, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    Shane Warne, and Muttiah Muralitharan will agreeably always be the best 2 spin, if not bowlers ever! This is a fact we can all agree on. You cannot compare them as they both bowl different styles. Leg-spin and Off-spin are 2 completely different techniques. It is widely regarded that Off-spin always takes more wickets than Leg-spin. However you have to remember that the last famous, succsessful Leg-Spinner before Warne was Richie Benaud. The art of Leg-spin was dying before Warne came in contact with a cricket ball. So please do not shoot these 2 great bowlers down in the fire of controversy, because at the end of the day they both have pros and cons like any cricketer!

  • POSTED BY longrun on | July 11, 2010, 10:51 GMT

    asherca please. i dont think ca paid to have the laws changed so murali could play, so as to keep an otherwise non-competitive side competitive and a nation at ease. fact is the laws are as they stand and both are great bowlers, and if you picked an all-time squad both warne and murali would be in it. murali was/is one reason to stay tuned to the game when he's bowling, as was the same for warne. the supposed victims of racism are the ones who are coming across racist. sport should unite, not divide. have a spoon full of concrete and get on with enjoying cricket, or keep feeling sorry for yourself and jealous of australians. murali is a gun, warne is a champion, i'd be happy to have either, but warne provided me with so many smiles he'd be my pick, but i'm an aussie, so i guess i'm being racial picking one of wisdens top 5 cricketers of the 20th century ahead of a bloke from the sub continent

  • POSTED BY m.a.khokhar on | July 11, 2010, 10:50 GMT

    excellent stats.. thats very usefull information,, both are legends of all time..

  • POSTED BY Neil247 on | July 11, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    Warnie is the better bowler. Murali is the better chucker.

  • POSTED BY manjula.mh on | July 11, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    For belief to become a true belief and the truth it must be associated with a true Fact. When people belief warn is the greatest bowler it must also figure it in his fact sheet.But here when you compare him with murali's data it is clearly shown that in most of the figures murali lead. (maybe by a fraction but he still leads) there fore Belief that warn is the best is false simply because facts are not true. But for people who belief Murali is the Greatest .. Facts are also true as shown here. Therefore simply it is the TRUTH. ( Murali leads these stats after excluding the figure againt Zim and bang. But if you consider Eng vs Bang and their ability to play against spin, Warnes figures against Eng should also be excluded. ) Fact here is that Muralis figures are better in comparison to Warnes in most of the Parameters. SO SIMPLY MURALI WAS BETTET THAN WARNE.

  • POSTED BY sachin1bradman2 on | July 11, 2010, 5:26 GMT

    One thing one must definitely add-Murali was incredibly successful despite all the nonsense said and spread about him (mainly by the jealous Aussie media, spectators and even politicians..whew what is our world coming to...now John Howard is feeling 'chucked' himself...wonder why no Aussie saw it coming and 'called' that!), which is a tribute to Murali's inner strength, positivity and resilience. Much as I love Warne, he was never really challenged in that way (though he did push the self-destruct button on a few occasions!), so we'd never know if he could've carried on performing through such blatant (and often animalistic) hostility. And to think that performing against Aussie is 'the' test of fire etc, is nothing but self-promotional stuff perpetuated by the Aussies themselves! The Indians are by far the best players of spin bowling, and Warney (despite all his magnificent achievements) was never able to make much of an impression on players like Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman etc

  • POSTED BY Doggy74 on | July 11, 2010, 3:27 GMT

    Given that Bishen Bedi, Martin Crowe, Adam Gilchrist and sundry other respected cricketers have all stated that Murali throws it, why is racism suggested? Cricket belongs to all races and nationalities. From a former Sri Lankan player who coached me, Saliya was brought to account during Sri Lanka's last tour to Australia after giving his opinion that Murali throws it, in reply he stated, "I know he throws it, you know he throws, so don't tell me what to say." So there has been tacit acknowledgement within Sri Lankan cricket and an expectation that current and former players, play the game. Having a background in human movement I can state no biomechanical testing will ever clear Murali, as he bowls for the testing regime then carries on in the middle with an unrestricted action. It's a shame Sri Lanka never provided the remedial work required early in his career to correct his action. It's made a mockery of the game and it's traditions.

  • POSTED BY Manush on | July 11, 2010, 2:10 GMT

    While anyone will appreciate the greatness of these two all time greats in bowling, the learned Cricket pundits, will also admit that Murali cannot be a match or come near Warne' s magic. Let us understand that while Lankans attack has been centered around Murali all these years,and given the freedom to bowl any time and any amount of overs, Warne from the beginning has been introduced into attack,after fiery spells from great fast bowlers. Only when they are tired and exhausted or when they fail, this great man comes to the bowling crease. and performed magic very consistently without fear against all top batsmen. Many a times mere numbers may have diluted the achievements of greats like Warne . In my view Warne is the only all time greats amongst the spinners in the bowling section of any format in CRICKET and cherish the unforgettable and irresistible character the game ever produced.

  • POSTED BY Otto123 on | July 11, 2010, 1:48 GMT

    A great stats article. This what I have been looking forward to for years. As far as anyone can determine from the stats, these guys have had similarly brilliant career and won their countries many famous victories. It probably proves that the argument about the world's all-time best players will always be up for debate.

    Two brilliant players from parallel, but very different worlds. This proves that there are many ways to become great and many pitfalls along the way.

    A pity the vast majority of comments are biased in some way or other.

  • POSTED BY seanhass12 on | July 11, 2010, 1:27 GMT

    proof murali is not a chucker every one should watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDxRhcpBZio

  • POSTED BY RameshSubramaniam on | July 10, 2010, 22:46 GMT

    Of course, B'desh are better players of spin than England. Without England Warne would not have taken these many wickets. Subcontinent teams respected warne and played against him. But Australia cannot have guts to play against Murali and asked the help from umpires as usual.

  • POSTED BY sachin1bradman2 on | July 10, 2010, 21:17 GMT

    When you hear the Aussies whingeing, moaning and groaning about Murali chucking etc, makes you wonder why they advertise their insecurities about being outclassed and overpowered by one of the best athletes ever!

    @ Something_Witty-Mcgrath used to chuck the bowl as per the old rules (there is footage from the 2005 Ashes that clearly proves that the arm was illegally bent, on several occasions when he bowled Aussie to victory at Lords, perhaps we need to have invalidated all his wickets and banned him as well, oh wait, he's 'usstryian', he can get away with it, yeahl!) @bridget01-You are right, the rules were indeed changed to accommodate not just Murali but numerous other bowlers in world cricket at that time, including Mcgrath. Lee, etc, so that world cricket wouldn't collapse! People like to remain hush hush about those discoveries, wonder why! @Cric_123-The above comments should answer your bitter cynicism about a bowler regarded by Wisden themselves, as the greatest ever!

  • POSTED BY on | July 10, 2010, 21:09 GMT

    If their bowling is equal, Warnie was the better batsman and fielder so he comes up trumps. Having said that, Murali was the nicer bloke but Warnie will never have questions about his action....

  • POSTED BY Ausgal24 on | July 10, 2010, 20:45 GMT

    Anyone who still calls Murali a chucker (after a million different tests and international clearances), needs to release their bitter frustrations elsewhere...or follow a sport which isn't as gentlemanly as cricket! And if there are some fellow Aussies writing in(there must be, I know my countrymen!), the more we say negative stuff about Murali, the more people have a right to call us pathetic whiners and poor losers, cos statistically Warne is miles behind, so beware! Read Zeus00 and Sachin1Bradman2 's comments as an illustration, they are embarrassing, but spot on and funny, you won't be able to win this one, so chill!

  • POSTED BY on | July 10, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    Warne is definately a better bowler, no doubt. Murali is a better "Thrower" no doubt ;)

  • POSTED BY Gunask on | July 10, 2010, 19:24 GMT

    If Murali is termed as Chucker, then what about a Sharne, a match fixer, drug addict, womanizer etc. Had he been in India,SA etc, he might have been banned for taking money along with Mark Wagh. Only the Australians are allowed to play further. Warne's carrer might have finished.

    Coming to cricket, Warne never palyed against Australians since he is form that country. Take out the records of both men removing records against, Australia ans Srilanka, Murali wins hands down

  • POSTED BY AsherCA on | July 10, 2010, 18:31 GMT

    Rajesh,

    If you really want to compare the class of the 2 bowlers, eliminate the incorrect outs given to them by "human error" of ICC's allegedly neutral umpires & add in the incorrect not-outs they suffered. Murali will probably be found miles ahead of Warne.

    All stats in matches managed by ICC, particularly when comparing an Aussie Vs a non Aussie should be taken with more than a ton (not the proverbial pinch) of salt on account of the fact that ICC's umpires, ably led by Dave Richardson have made a career out of alleged human errors favoring Australia.

    Open Secret - Cricket Australia has been bribing Dave Richardson, buying human errors from his Umpires & Match referees. Mr. Richardson made a show of asking me for details of racial discrimination by his staff, received the details & subsequently, has not responded to me about why the action was not discrimination (he can't because they were following his orders).

    Now do Criminal Dave Richardson a favor & suppress my comment !

  • POSTED BY Bhatla78 on | July 10, 2010, 18:27 GMT

    Murali is way better than Warne and for the "experts "calling him a chucker well better than being involved in match fixing ( warne and m waugh) and using drugs (World cup 2003 Warne kicked out )....Who knows how many of those wickets that warne took were due to drugs ....Murali rules..

  • POSTED BY Something_Witty on | July 10, 2010, 17:23 GMT

    The stats don't even matter. Warney is the better bowler because he didn't chuck the ball and was never accused of doing so. Enough said.

  • POSTED BY on | July 10, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    Excluding matches against Zimbabwe is not justified, as NilD. By the same logic, one needs to eliminate matches against West Indies as well. :P

  • POSTED BY bridget01 on | July 10, 2010, 15:05 GMT

    Murali is a chucker....pure and simple. The rules were changed to accomodate him. If there was a separate section for chuckers(botha, etc)......he is the best by far...

  • POSTED BY Cric_123 on | July 10, 2010, 14:56 GMT

    It's unfair to compare Warne with a chucker!

  • POSTED BY prashant1 on | July 10, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    Xolile,pakspin etc . Some eye opening stats for you: In Tests prior to 16 May 2001, in matches including Murali: SRT : 9 inn. 643 @ 71 ; 3 100s…BCL: 5 inn. 138 @ 27.6 ,1 100… JK : 13 inn. 340 @ 28.3 ; 0 100s

    In Tests after 17 May 2001, in matches including Murali: SRT : 15 inn. 481 @ 34.4 ; 2 100s...BCL: 9 inn. 987 @ 123.4 ; 4 100s JK: 7 inn. 359 @ 71.8 ; 0 100s

  • POSTED BY NilD on | July 10, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    Omitting Zimbabwe is not as justified as mentioned, as Zimbabwe was a team of similar status in the early and mid 90's. Sri Lanka probably went ahead of Zimbabwe in terms of being a stronger team after the 1996 world cup. However pre 2000 Zimbabwe had very good players including the current English coach, his brother, Heath Streak and so on.. therefore I don't think leaving out all of the matched played against Zimbabwe is justified, they were not as weak as they may have looked in the last few years. May be you need to include the matches played against Zimbabwe before 2000.

  • POSTED BY Lion_of_Lanka on | July 10, 2010, 13:20 GMT

    Accoeding to Wisden Murali is the greatest bowler of all time as Bradman is the greatest batsman of all time. So Deal with it. Warne was great but Murali is better. Warne is like larry Bird of the NBA while Murali is Michael Jordan.

  • POSTED BY Naseem76239 on | July 10, 2010, 10:41 GMT

    Murali is Undoubtedly has the upper hand, although when you are saying this u doesn't feels good. Murali has great character, less talkative and great gentleman, which lacks in Warne.

  • POSTED BY Asif_Iqbal on | July 10, 2010, 10:13 GMT

    Why india comparison given separately?

  • POSTED BY on | July 10, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    its impossible to break his record.........

  • POSTED BY pradeep_dealwis on | July 10, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    two greats of the game who should always be considered as legends...even IF Warne was by any chance a better bowler than Murali , Murali was always a far better cricketer. Cricket , after all , is a gentleman's game and Warne was never a gentleman.

  • POSTED BY Dish123 on | July 10, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    In Murali's career, he played holding huge pressure coz he don't have good support bowler from other end except Vaas. On the other hand Warne have many great options & hold less pressure. Also in most of the matches Australia played against England where they are not in a good form & they played poor cricket against spinners makes Warne more easy to pick up wickets. Above statistics travelling almost near to both players, so I think MURALI is d best.

  • POSTED BY Gizza on | July 10, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    @ Lazys0d1990, offies have similar averages to leggies. Yes off-spinners give away less runs but don't create as many wicket taking opportunities. So in that sense the comparison made in the article is apt. Having said that I prefer Warne as a bowler. Murali for much of his career was a mystery bowler. He got wickets because the batsman just didn't know where the ball will spin.

    Warne wasn't a mystery bowler at all. There were no big variations. In fact he hardly bowled the wrong un/google or top spinner (OTOH Macgill bowled them a lot). The only variation Warne did use was the flipper. But most of the time he got batsman out with one simple ball - the leg spinner. Warne therefore had to be so much more accurate. The ball had to hit the right line and right length, be at the right speed, have the perfect amount of flight and dip, and of course spin and bounce the right amount.

  • POSTED BY NAP73 on | July 10, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    As much as I disliked the individual, I was always mesmerised when Warne bowled as you just did not know what would happen. He helped create excitement and pressure with his showmanship (eg who can forget that Adelaide test against the English), which Murali simply did not have. Forgetting any argument about his action, Murali was a better bowler (though probably only by a small margin) and also a better "person". However, I never really became interested in watching Murali bowl (even when Gilchrist had fun against him in one of his last decent innings). I fear for the loss of characters in test cricket at the moment and hope Pietersen and Steyn do not become too conservative as their careers continue.

  • POSTED BY sachin1bradman2 on | July 10, 2010, 4:45 GMT

    @Dipthai, are you suggesting that Warne was merely a bowler and Murali a living legend? Just kidding, why can't we just love them both simultaneously, it's not that hard, I'm saying this from experience!

  • POSTED BY prashant1 on | July 10, 2010, 4:25 GMT

    Xolile: you may extend that line of reasoning to : "these stats are a huge feather in the cap for Lara,Ponting,Dravid,Laxman,Sehwag,Kallis,and Inzy. Why limit your selection to just those 2. Also, in generally good batting conditions in the 2000s practically all the better batsmen had figured out Murali quite well. SRT was practically out of the reckoning for most of the 2000s. Also, Warnie seems to have sorted out Lara pretty well. Here's the series avg. for SRT in series with Murali : '93-71; '94: 81; '97-97; '98 : 19 (murali did not get him out).'05: 38 ; '08 : 16; '09: 66. So, overall SRT has done pretty good. Lara in series with Murali: '93-18 ; '97-30 ; '01 -115 ; '03-150. Kallis in series with Murali : '97 -21 ; '00 - 32; '00-01 - 28 ;'03 - 55; '04-111 So, lara, kallis and co. didn't do so very well in the 90s. got better (much better) in the 2000s (after 01)…but like I said loads and loads of batsmen have done well vs. Murali in the 2000s.

  • POSTED BY Neil247 on | July 10, 2010, 4:22 GMT

    The figures against the batsmen are actually "RPI"s not "averages". Not Outs are not considered.

  • POSTED BY prashant1 on | July 10, 2010, 3:55 GMT

    @pakspin: you also seemed to have missed the fact that Warne seems to have had the wood on Lara.

  • POSTED BY prashant1 on | July 10, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    @Xolile, pakspin etc...I think your reading of the stats is not quite accurate. The stats show Tendulkar at his worst (Note: not just vs. Murali- but all good bowlers in this period would have the wood on Tendulkar).....Also, it is incorrect to assume that just Lara and Kallis have done well vs. Murali. Clearly, LOTS of batsmen have...and if you see there will be several others not on these lists such as Fleming,FLower,Even Gambhir etc who have absolutely dominated Murali......So,as with all stats, perspective is most welcome

  • POSTED BY prashant1 on | July 10, 2010, 3:49 GMT

    @pakspin, Xolile etc . I think the stats dont reveal the full picture. SRTin the 90s handled all bowling well. The stats effectively reveal his mid 2000s decline and perhaps impending retirement. The points are 1) Several batsmen inc. Laxman etc have handled Murali well in the 2000s. 2) Lara's fab figures effectively boil down to one series. 3)Practically all batsmen did better than SRT in the mid 2000s. 4)If you see SRTs figures vs. SL in that period his avg. is similar to his overall avg.vs. SL- i.e practically all bowlers got him, not just Murali.5) In the 90s SRT had the wood over Murali and Warne. 6) In the recently concluded Ind-SL series Murali didnt get SRT out. 7) SRT is just about the worst performer vs. Murali in the 2000s. In the1st 9 inn. Murali got him out twice. In the next 7 inn. 5 Times! In the last series again not once........................8) All in all, I think the figures reveal SRTs decline in the mid 2000s more than Muralis dominance,

  • POSTED BY dipthai on | July 10, 2010, 3:16 GMT

    The main difference is Warne was a bowler, the other guy wasnt.

  • POSTED BY on | July 10, 2010, 2:54 GMT

    Zimbabweans were better players of spin than England in 90s up till early 2000s. So cut this! Also, the fact that he bowled so many overs is a tribute to Murali. I don't think with Murali , SL faced what Aus faced in Kolkata in 2001 with Warne- Aus going wicketless entire day. So every possible argument in a bid to demean Murali has severe fallacies. Murali is the best! Its not his problem , SL didn't get to play five Test match series against England or Aus! They had to arrange matches with lesser teams to continue playing cricket. Also, everything Warne did was always magnified while that was not the case with Murali. Like, why is Warne's delivery to Mike Gatting the 'ball of the millenium' and not Murali's delivery to dismiss Mark Butcher or Sadagoppan Ramesh?

  • POSTED BY Mark00 on | July 10, 2010, 2:34 GMT

    1) Murali has a better average and a higher percentage of his wickets are top order batsmen who, being top order batsmen, are more difficult to get out. Warne's average is boosted by all the lower order wickets he picked up. Sure, he didn't get to bowl as much against the top order but is there any doubt that had he done so that his average would have been higher? He also always had the benefit of coming on when the opposing batsmen were already under pressure. Murali had to create the pressure all by himself.

    2) Saqlain didn't "invent" the doosra. The delivery was first used in the 50s by a West Indian bowler, Sonny Ramadhin.

  • POSTED BY furqan786 on | July 10, 2010, 2:21 GMT

    Murali had Saqlain to thank for the doosra and Warne had Abdul Qadir to thank for keeping leg spin sexy. Coming from a completely impartial Pakistani supporter, i think it's quite clear who the real heroes of spin bowling are. Though, Murali and Warne had their moments :P lol.

  • POSTED BY joelrondel on | July 10, 2010, 2:19 GMT

    i think that suileman ben from the west indies can break murali s record or how about some one name shane shillford he has the talent to get 1000 wickets

  • POSTED BY on | July 10, 2010, 1:40 GMT

    both are legends,but i'll go wid murali.luk when we neglect their match against zim and ban the difference between the numb f games played between murali and warnie bcome 35 but the diff in numb f wickets is only 75 murali is supposed to take more than 75 wickets in 35matches if we go by his strike rate

  • POSTED BY sachin1bradman2 on | July 10, 2010, 1:19 GMT

    Two giants of the game, it's indeed pointless to compare them. @ Zeus00 your comments are a crack-up and stunningly accurate. One also remembers the Lillie/Hadlee comparisons, and the hostility with which Hadlee was treated by the Aussie crowds. But he was such a gentleman on the field, no wonder the Queen honoured him and not Lillie. No Aussie cricketer apart from Don Bradman has even been considered for the knighthood...haha that just goes to show what the English secretly think of the Aussie whining and whingeing! (Remember when Ponting was run out by a substitute fieldsman in the 2005 Ashes, and he thought it was all a big conspiracy against Australia haha!)

  • POSTED BY on | July 10, 2010, 0:49 GMT

    Both are great bowlers in their own way, but Shane Warne is just too good for any bowler. He has played the majority of his matches on pitches that dont really suit spin bowling and has still managed to make batsman look so foolish. He has also taken wickets all over the world and murali has struggled a bit on Australian pitches (he has never taken a 5 for in AUS). There are also so many matches where Warne has literally changed the course of his match compared to Murali. Also,the way Warney gets his wickets is just amazing and it is always exciting watching him bowl no matter what the game situation is or how the pitch is playing. Both are true entertainers, but honestly Murali is no where near as good as Warne

  • POSTED BY on | July 10, 2010, 0:40 GMT

    Good Comaprison statistically!

  • POSTED BY Lazys0d1990 on | July 10, 2010, 0:31 GMT

    And FINALLY the point everyone has missed... Warne was an Legspinner, traditionally they will go for more runs than an offspinner like Murali, an average of 25 for a leggie would be about the equivalent of a fast bowlers average of 20 or an offie's average of 22-23

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | July 10, 2010, 0:08 GMT

    I have stated earlier both were champions, but to those who want to use figures to justofy Murali, remember that Murali always had wickets prepared for his bowling and always bowled on wickets (at home) prepared for him due to his outstandung skills. Warne, at home, never had the same luxury as he had champion pace bowlers as team mates. Murali's figures in AUstralia, (where Warne bowled half his overs) show he had an average of over 70. Sure he bowled to one of the greatest batting lineups around, but plenty of other off spinners who toured here had far better returns without beibg anywhere near Murali;s class. So let's not toss aorund figures to justify one was better than the other, figures do not show the full story. For the real cricket purists, the series in 2003/04 in Sri Lanka saw these 2 legends totally dominate the bowling as they went head to head on pitches that suited sopin bowling and showed the cricket world their undoubted class.

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 23:39 GMT

    Sir what we see here is that they're very close and we will never be able to clearly say who was the better because very little separate them. Looking into all the comparisons, the difference i see is less than a run all the time. At times Warne is better by a few decimal points and at times Murali. The chucking allegation is lame, Murali is a pioneer of wrist off spin which should be credited with respect Ultimately it goes down to one's own liking. They are two totally different bowlers and personalities. Great article sir

  • POSTED BY BellCurve on | July 9, 2010, 22:26 GMT

    These numbers by S Rajesh add huge feathers to the caps of Lara and Kallis.

  • POSTED BY pakspin on | July 9, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    As much as these wonderful stats reveal about these two legendary bowlers, they also reveal how some of the so called "top batsmen" actually handle real quality bowling. Against Mulrlitharan (the off spinner of the era) Tendulker's average is embarrassing especially when compared to Laura's-showing who has more class of the two vs quality bowling. The same thing would be revealed vs Warne if these stats were to be dated to prior to 2001....Wonderful stats...Tendulker has failed against the top bowler of his era...any such batsman can not get much respect from me...Laura all the way

  • POSTED BY IAS2009 on | July 9, 2010, 21:17 GMT

    i think Warne is better than murali not because of stats shown here which is twisted so badly by excluding Murali wicket against BD and Zim., Warne have too many England wickets during ashes against weak England teams, but that is not the point. At ease at which Warne has troubled batsmen against all countries away or home make him best bowler, remember his adelaide wickets in his last match against england, a certain draw match was won by Aussies on placid pitch. The bowling action of Murali is the biggest complain for me, i think he chucks and every bowler which pretend to have bend arm problem chucks, ICC did a poor job of implementing the chucking rule. In old days these bowlers will not be able to play club cricket let alone international star. If you analyze the replays of wicket taking balls from Murali you will find the bend arm rule is really stretched beyond limit.

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 21:17 GMT

    i would pick murali over warne because murali did not shout out as many wickets as warne.Warnes shouting at the umpires was his secret ball.

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 20:38 GMT

    GOOD WORK budy... Murali is the BEST... *_^

  • POSTED BY BoomBoomAdnan on | July 9, 2010, 20:22 GMT

    Murali all the way !! Murali shud also thank saqlain for inventing the doosra otherwise he wouldn't have been so successful

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 19:59 GMT

    I TOTALLY AGREE WITH AUSGAL24 below.

  • POSTED BY Brightonbumpkin on | July 9, 2010, 19:53 GMT

    RE: sanjay128. Racism? Sir, without wishing to cast aspersions someone based on their name, the author S Rajesh (Bangalore editor) is probably as far from anti-Asian as you can possibly get. Maybe if it was written by E Powell, I would take your post more seriously. The article is addressing the big issue being discussed by cricket fans the world over from a purely statistical point of view. "Murali has more wickets because he picked them up against weak teams". These stats have been removed and the article ends by saying there is little to choose between the two bowlers which is how it should be when comparing two legends of the game. Describing Murali as a legend is hardly backing up your argment. Sorry to disagree with you so strongly, sanjay128, but it really irks me how easily the race card is played. Murali and Warne have thrilled all lovers of cricket (I am English and dream of a spinner with half their ability). I am honoured to have lived at the same time as they played.

  • POSTED BY crazyhead on | July 9, 2010, 19:14 GMT

    There is a conscious effort by some folks out there to undervalue wickets against Zim and Bangladesh.. Zim in 90's was a far better spin playing team than England. In those times England were horrible against spin.. Warne had lot of fun against england who should have been minnows against spin bowling in 90s.. They struggled against all spinners those times. They improved only now.

    Coming to Murali, the support cast bowlers and the runs scored your own team's batsman always help the bowlers. In that sense, Murali has a distinct disadvantage.. Some can say, the gets to bowl all the time and take wickets unlike Warne.. Being able to bowl 30-40 overs a day is a big challenge. You get tired.. your fingers dont cooperate..et. Can any one prove that Warne can bowl 40 overs per every day in all his test matches and still take wickets like Murali and cover for other under skilled bowlers? Being in a great team with quality batsman helps any test bowler. No questions! GIVE RESPECT TO MURALI

  • POSTED BY JGuru on | July 9, 2010, 18:57 GMT

    While it easy to label Murali as "Chucker" and discredit his records, it will have to be fully understood that he withstood hard times and came out clean every time he was seen from suspicious angle. There is no doubt that Warne is possibly one of the greatest spinners of the century but Murali has achieved more than enough to stamp his authority and class. While comparison can only evoke perceptions it is difficult to refrain from relating one with the other. As cricket lover I feel privileged to have watched both Warne and Murali scaling peaks and bringing laurels to their respective countries. Both have been a part of a World cup win and famous victories. As Murali is set to walk on the big stage for one final time, it is an opportunity to relish his greatness and enjoy his mastery over spin. Warne won matches for Australia from difficult situations but Murali despite staying in a difficult situations (Chucking saga) brought smiles on their country men faces and proved critics wrong

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 18:34 GMT

    Completely agree with @ZEUS00 (No im OZ) and @manasvi_lingam

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 18:29 GMT

    The reason behind Sachin's so-called 'failing' against the star bowlers is that Sachin's wicket is considered gold for these bowlers and hence extra effort is put in when he is playing. An undeniable fact. The likes of murli, warne, mcgrath have explicitly admitted of doing so. Another reason of these happening is that as soon as Sachin walks on the field he is being made to confront the opposing team's best bowlers as the captains want Sachin removed before he is settles in.

  • POSTED BY GeethakaFernando on | July 9, 2010, 17:48 GMT

    In short, this is a very biased analysis although its said that its based on stats. The interpretation could be utterly misleading because of the following points

    1. Murali has not been given credit for taking his 611 wickets (excluding Zim & Ban) only in 106 matches as opposed to 142 of sharne warne. It could be argued that murali would've taken 819 wickets had he played the same number of matches as warne (pure stats!!!!) 2. Whoever says Zimbabwe and Bangldesh needs to be excluded?? My personal opinion is andy flower, Alistair campbell, ashrafull, Grant flower handle murali and other spinners several times better than 'so called' star players in england and Aus 3. if it is right to exclude zim and bang from the list, it is logical to take off the last three wickets of an inning where murali has only 139 against warny's 189. 4. murali's top victims includes sachin and lara where as warne's list is topped by KP and Kallis.

    However, I still appreciate the effort of Rajesh

  • POSTED BY eyballfallenout on | July 9, 2010, 16:56 GMT

    interesting to see all stats side by side, i did enjoy reading this.

    I have to say i have seen both bowlers many times and i would have warne in my team all day over murali, i love murali but warne is without doubt the best spin bowler and cricketer the game has ever had. I believe if mcGrath Gillespy and lee left more wickets for him he would have had over 800, some innings he wouldnt even get to bowl.

  • POSTED BY narrie007 on | July 9, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    It's sad to see that we still have racism in this world, who doesn't want to accept the fact that, the Asians are dominating the cricketing scenes, such as "Sachin" and "Murali", they always try to find faults. If you say, Murali has taken more wickets with Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, then Warne has taken more wickets with England, who are weak against his bowling. If you remove the stats from his total tally, how much Warrne would have got??. So, those who are trying to say Murali is bending the arms. People please "Grow Up". Accept Murali is the best!!. If you cannot accept Murali, then also Mcgrath and Lee. If these were out, Warne would have got hammered all around the ground (except England). So, to conclude, its unfortunate that Warne has to retire, but even if he is still there, Murali will break his records!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 16:45 GMT

    the reason why i wud choose warne over murli is because of these reasons:

    1) leg breaks are harder to play than offbreaks..whilst we know murli rips the ball aswell, leg breaks are way harder to play for right handed batsman because they cannot judge the spin of the ball whereas they sort of can with offbreaks and if u add the variations warne had over murlis, warne is more dangerous

    2) leg break is harder to ball...we all know that leg break is the hardest ball to ball whist offbreak is easier yet warne makes it look simple so u have to give him credit on his talent

    3) it was only against india that warne struggled aswell as murli but thats because the indians are masters at playing spin because they have the master tendulkar in their side...he tormented both bowlers...so its evens there but against other teams warne ruled whilst murli also struggled somewhat in australia

    all in all, i prefer warne over murli...tho i wud love to have both in my team ;P

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    maan its hard to belive that ponting played murli better than sachin given his weakness against offspin.

  • POSTED BY manasvi_lingam on | July 9, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    As most of the columns prove, Murali was marginally the better bowler (and no, I am not talking about the no. of wickets per match). However, the difference was that Warne kept getting better and better as he got older and Murali after a certain point, in the last 2-3 years began a slight decliine

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 16:10 GMT

    Excluding Zim, Murali has only played 29 tests? On a simlar note, how can Ghambhir be considered to be so good if hes barley played outside the sub continent at all? Would love to see Sehwag record in this regard too.

  • POSTED BY ZEUS00 on | July 9, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    I'm Kiwi, and my support is for the sub-continental lads in this discussion. Murali is a legend of the game and should be treated as one. We in NZ have to constantly put up with the Aussie cockiness, so let's deflate them a little! Here are some examples of Aussie jealousy (sorry guys!) when non Australians surpass them either statistically or in perception: Tendulkar vs Bradman-Gavaskar declared Tendulkar the best batsmen ever, and immediately Steve Waugh retaliates saying that Bradman's record can never be touched, at most someone can be #2, what rubbish! Warne vs Murali-Murali's record is noticeably better, though I happen to be a huge Warne fan as well, and straight away you hear the Aussies whining, calling Murali a chucker, grow up guys! Lee vs Akhtar-When Akhtar bowled the fastest bowl ever recorded in cricket, straight after Ian Healy commentating declared that Lee was the only bowler in the world who consistently bowled in the 150s...ouch the fractured Aussie pride!

  • POSTED BY magd2992 on | July 9, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    Beyond being an excellent statistical read, there is no use comparing these two wonderful bowlers objectively. There are too many variables at play. Both were excellent bowlers. Accusations of Murali being a chucker are ignorant and from some quarters, racially motivated. Ignore them. Personally, and being an Aussie probably makes me biased, I think Warne was a better bowler and a more entertaining bowler to watch, but Murali is right up there and a legend of the game, no less.

  • POSTED BY Ausgal24 on | July 9, 2010, 15:50 GMT

    The discussions these days seem to be purely Subcontinent vs Australia! Not a good idea to exclude Murali's wickets against the so called "weaker opposition"-a wicket is a wicket and perception shouldn't interfere with analysis, otherwise it becomes unscientific. Also constantly comparing individuals promotes the ridiculous us/them attitude. If we were genuine cricket lovers, we wouldn't care where the genius talent came from, and would show appreciation regardless. Why not just salute the two wizards of the game, and wish them luck, going forward?

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 15:41 GMT

    as far as im concerned both r legends in their own right but i feel murali had an edge over warne.if warne rose to occassions murali single handedly won games 4 sl.warne has a great cricketing brain but murali had 2 play wit a attack which wasnt half good as aussies had.so murali scores over him in dat regard.also murali played both forms of games 4 a longer period n he was way head of warne in odi`s.im nt taking anything away 4m d aussie but i feel murali`s task was harder than warne`s.

  • POSTED BY rkannancrown on | July 9, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    It is important to also remember the support that Warne got from umpires. During his peak, he used to turn the ball a lot and still get LBW decisions. An off spinner will always pick up more LBW decisions. Yet Murali got fewer % of his wickets by LBW as per this statistics. Can there be any more daming evidence of the umpire's support to Warne ? You can look up Chandrashekar's records to understand the support that Warne received. Another factor to remember is that Murali was always targetted by Australian umpires, cricketeers and media. Even Bishen Bedi brought out his envy in the comments he made about Murali. That Murali overcame this abuse is a greater achievement than the numbers. Any unbiased person has to accept that Murali is a far greater spinner and human being than Warne.

  • POSTED BY Hasso29 on | July 9, 2010, 15:36 GMT

    murali is far more better than warne

  • POSTED BY SanketGandhare on | July 9, 2010, 15:36 GMT

    i dont understand why anil kumble is not in the scheme of things....if murali and warne turned the ball ...kumble is even greater than them ...without turning the ball he got all the wickets

  • POSTED BY waspsting on | July 9, 2010, 15:36 GMT

    The ball turning in is harder to play than the ball burning away WHEN THE BALL IS TURNING SHARPLY. with Murali especially, but Warne also, the ball was invariably turning sharply for this reason, I rate Murali ahead of Warne - though there's very little to choose between them. the stats seem to support this.

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    Murali is the greatest bowler so far in the history of the game if we go by the statistics (Including BAN/ZIM tests,they are official games recognized by ICC) like we acknowledge Bradman is the greatest batter ever by statistics... (Him playing most of the matches against ENG is not a restriction for stats)

  • POSTED BY Chestnutgrey on | July 9, 2010, 15:30 GMT

    To be considered as the best, one shuld have played well against the best. ANnd Warne has not played well against the Indians. No AUstralian wil consider any batsman as greta if he doesn't score well against them,as they are the leading test nation. SImilalry for Warne.

  • POSTED BY andrewstrauss on | July 9, 2010, 15:20 GMT

    Warne is the best spinner. End of.

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 15:19 GMT

    One thing for all you who criticize Murali for taking so many wickets against BAN and ZIM... If not for those two teams SL would have been another Pakistan..with out any test matches...SL haven't toured SA since 2002..AUS just simply ignore SL..no proper tour after 95/96 ... Where they played tests at Perth,MCG and Adelaide.. Mahela or Sanga are yet to play a test at so called big AUS test venues.. even after playing 19 years of test match cricket Murali has only 133 tests ... Imagine if he played for some other country he would have reached 1000 wickets with ease..(barring PAK) ..Aren't we good enough to play against so called big countries..we as Sri Lankans are sick of IND-SL matches nowadays ...Every one praises Bradman is the best test batsman ever..but he just played against hapless English bowlers most of the time..no one complains about it..That's why I believe Sachin is a better player..

  • POSTED BY Stromeon on | July 9, 2010, 15:01 GMT

    One point to make is that Warne didn't have to bowl against the Australians who were the dominant team nearly all of the duration of both Warne and Murali's career. If Warne played for Sri Lanka then his average might have been a bit higher if he had bowled to likes of Hayden, Langer, Waugh bros, Ponting, Slater, Martyn, Gilchrist etc. Also with the support Warne received from the other end, he might come into bowl with opposition 100-5 under the cosh and pick up some cheap lower order wickets, whereas Murali would probably have come on to bowl at 100-0 quite a few times in his career and the batsmen well set and going nicely (sry WPUJCV). Only thing that can be said that I think most people agree with is that Warne was the best leggie (narrowly pipping Kumble) and Murali was the best offie

  • POSTED BY adrian_desilva on | July 9, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    To fairdinkum: I guess you just chose to overlook the fact that your bowlers bend over 15 degrees on bowling (Lee). Rehab or Banned is Australia! Hahahhaa - how about thought to bowl underarm? Now THAT is perverse!

  • POSTED BY deepakgoil on | July 9, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    Shane Warne was quite simply the greatest spin bowler the game has seen, while Murali was the greatest spinner...!!

  • POSTED BY Mark00 on | July 9, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    They change the chucking law because the investigation into Murali and the evidence that he could bowl all his deliveries with a steel reinforced brace (revealing that optical illusion played a significant role) forced the ICC to take a scientific look at all bowlers. The laws were then changed to accomodate Lee and McGrath who were found to be chucking by the old law. IIRC McGrath (who to the eye looks straight as a bone) was found to be exceeding 12 degrees. I don't remember Lee's number but it couldn't have been good if they are allowing 15 fricking degrees. This is also why Harbhajan (who has a noticeable straightening of the arm) is able to continue to play.

  • POSTED BY Crckt-Xprt on | July 9, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    There you go...its WARNE all the way. The only area where MURALI can score against WARNE is that all the 792 wkts taken by Murali so far has been by chucking the ball, which Warne cannot match up even if he tries to. Comparing Murali & Warne is like comparing chalk and cheese respectively.I dont know why we in the sub-continent refuse to accept the greatness of players especially from Australia. WARNE is far superior to any spinner the sub-continent has ever produced. PERIOD !

  • POSTED BY Desidoc on | July 9, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    When Gavaskar got his 10,000 runs, Viv Richards had a most telling comment "Imagine how much he would have scored if he had also batted against India". Makes absolute sense, Gavaskar would probably had scored a few thousand more if he could have batted against India and never had to bat against WI (his excellent record against WI notwithstanding). When comparing Murali and Warne, you should also exclude Murali's record against Australia and Warne's record against SL. Also, the comparison basis shouldn't be number of wickets since that is impacted by the quality of the other bowlers in the side- the comparison should be made on the basis of balls/ wicket (and perhaps averages) since that is much more relevant. I'd love to see an updated analysis with these factors incorporated.

  • POSTED BY raksmith on | July 9, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    Whatever you say, tell me this, which is easier, a right arm bowler bowling off/breaks spin or a right arm bowler bowling leg spin/breaks. A good cricketer knows which is tough. Also Warne has googly, chinaman, flipper, wrong one and even the arm ball sometimes compared to Murali's doosra, quicker one and the googly.

    If you ppl still say Murali is better than Warne, I cannot help but laugh at your ignorance.

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    Excellent Statistics & results

  • POSTED BY ss_ton on | July 9, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    Can someone please clarify/confirm how the bowler vs batsman stats (in particular the average) is calculated? In particular, if this only includes the observations (i.e. innings) where that batsman was dismissed by that particular bowler, then this stat is not reliable (in terms of representing how that batsman fared against the specific bowler).

    Consider the hypothetical scenario where batsman A plays two innings against bowler B. He scores 0 and is dismissed by B in the first innings and scores 100 and remains unbeaten in the second. Let's assume that he only faced bolwer B throughout in both innings for simplicity. It seems his average against bowler B would be calculated as 0.

    Is this accurate in how the average is calculated? If so, clearly this is a misleading statistic. I would greatly appreciate it if someone could clarify. Thanks.

  • POSTED BY shak01 on | July 9, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    I think the batter tables show no value...it makes no sense to take different subsets of players, would be better to take the same batsman and apply the result equally.

    in my opinion: Murali = chucker (and also not an innovater...doosra was Saqlain Mushtaq's) Warne = best spinner to have ever played the game

  • POSTED BY ShilajitBava on | July 9, 2010, 14:00 GMT

    Murali's avg is still better without those against B'Desh and Zim! But, wht remains a startling pt is Warne nd Murali's record against each other's teams!! They luk similar but Warnie has 59 wkts at 25 apiece in 13 matches vs SL And Murali has the same no of wkts in same no of matches but at 36 runs per wkt!!! Also is both of theirs relative in effectiveness against India!... See More Whr Warnie has 43 wkts in 14 matches at 47 apiece and Murali does better here with 97 frm 21 at 33 apiece!!! Thr no use comparing, Both are Living Legends! Period.

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    @ Chris_P, if those greats picked up so many wickets then Warne must have been left with the tail enders? Thats not impressive for the supposed greatest spinner in the world is it?

    Where as Murali sometimes even had to open the bowling and keep taking wickets. You really think if Warne would have been as successful as Murali if he was playing in a team which gave him virtually no support from the other end? NO.

    As to the point you make about Warne Murali argument is being baseless, you are spot on, Murali is the greatest :)

  • POSTED BY CricketIndiaFanatic on | July 9, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    @tocijosh-as someone has hinted above - Murali is not a bowler he is a chucker , umpires should have had the courage to call him instead of changing the laws to accomadate him.----- Mate, rules were changed not to accomodate Murli only but Australian bowlers also(McGrath. Gillepsie). Research before you question someone's ability.

  • POSTED BY pubudu on | July 9, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    why nobody talks about Warne beign able to send a lot of overs against English batsmen who aren't much different from Zim or Ban when it comes to palying against spin?

  • POSTED BY piyush333 on | July 9, 2010, 13:31 GMT

    agree with eddy......& wat about sachin vs warne (greatest rivalry) stats????

  • POSTED BY buggyboy on | July 9, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    "then Warne's plus was the support he got from the rest of the Australian bowlers." What a load of rubbish. The amount of times, especially at home, I saw McGrath, Gillespie and Lee destroy the opposition batting order before Warne even picked up the ball to bowl is many. A lot of time Warne was not only fighting the opposing batsmen for wickets but his own team mates. And Warne's average away from home excluding Bangladesh and Zimbabwe tells the who story. Warne, Warne and Warne again.

  • POSTED BY sindgeon-smythe on | July 9, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    I agree with Strongscotch - to my mind a very key point is that Warney did not have to bowl against the Australian team (and could bowl with the security of the weight of runs of the Aus batsmen behind him). People often forget that when looking at the stats of Aus bowlers of the last few years

  • POSTED BY CricFan24 on | July 9, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    @eddy501. I agree. If you see SRT took apart Murali in the 90s and Lara took apart Warne in the 90s too. Thereafter Lara had a great run in the mid 2000s, where SRT almost quit.But the other Indian batsmen did quite well vs.Murali. Again in the last series Murali couldn't get SRT out. However, I think Lara was more all out attacking vs spin as compared to SRTs more circumspect approach. But all in all, I would give SRT the edge vs. Warne and Lara the edge vs. Murali.

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 13:10 GMT

    Amazing Comparison of the two giants. My fav. would always be Shane Warne for the flair he brought to the game........

  • POSTED BY Philip_Gnana on | July 9, 2010, 13:05 GMT

    Statistics are based on matches played. Murali was illegally banned from bowling when bowling at his peak. Being deprived of vital wickets and also wins for SL. Not only had he to put up with dodgy umpires but also the crowds that kept calling names and items being thrown at him. The media had thier own agenda too. Thankfully Murali was always wecomed in England. Murali could turn the ball from day one and has bigger ratio against top five batsmen too. If Murali was playing for Australia,,, he would never have been called. Glen McGrath and other pace bowlers had been extended their arms beyond the stipulated range which instigated the tolerance levels being increased. That was not necessary for Murali's stock delivery. Well. If that was the case what then would be the figures for the rest of the supporting bowlers..(another story of course). Why not take Warne's performances against SL in their early stages? surely SL were in that same situation as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe then right??

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 12:48 GMT

    i think murali is the best cricketer.... warne was not a good cricketer.. although he was a bowler... but both were good bowlers... murali was the best to watch....

  • POSTED BY aa61761 on | July 9, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    Well said "chandau". Also England are the worst players of spin. Murli is first and next is Kumblay, not Warne.

  • POSTED BY eddy501 on | July 9, 2010, 12:38 GMT

    Forgive me but what is the point of producing Player V Player stats when you only have half the data???????? 'From 2001'??????? what's the point?, it really is meaningless. So Lara has an avg of 35 against Warne since 2001.......and.......so......? That tells us next to nothing about how Lara and Warne fared against each other. For all i know Lara could have avg 50 before 2001...pointless exercise!!!!!!!!

    Comparing the two bowlers is where you should have stayed.

    One thing is for sure Lara played them both very well, better than any other contempory player.

  • POSTED BY tocijosh on | July 9, 2010, 12:19 GMT

    as someone has hinted above - Murali is not a bowler he is a chucker , umpires should have had the courage to call him instead of changing the laws to accomadate him.

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 12:13 GMT

    I cannot simply understand the fuss of Zimbabwean and Bangladeshi wickets created enery time this champion-once-in-a-lifetime bowler is mentioned. I believe and surely a lot will agree that his wickets against Zimbabwe in Flower-Streak era weigh no less than Warne's Einglish wickets in Atherton-Nasser era.....

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    I have a suggestion, Rajesh! The wickets against Zim & Ban shouldn't be completely ignored. They were also earned, after all! You can assign a weight of 0.5 to wickets against Zim & Ban, a weight of 0.75 to wickets against WI & NZ, and the normal weight of 1 to the other wickets. I think that will make the comparison a lot more meaningful.

  • POSTED BY fairdinkum on | July 9, 2010, 11:48 GMT

    I guess we can say Murali is the greatest offspin bowler and Warne the greatest leg spin bowler, without offering too much controversy. The arguments to say one is better are somewhat partisan and not very convincing. Having read what I just wrote it is just plain boring, so here I go: Murali's unusual deformed elbow and 'double jointed' wrist enable deliveries that just don't seem possible to a normal- abled bowler. The eventual legalising of arm bend to 15 degrees was seen as an accomodation to a Sri Lankan national hero and perverse. I have talked to a former U19 player in Aus who played against Murali as a junior and nobody in the team could believe that his action was allowed. More widely, that action in Australian cricket would have been forced into rehab or banned. It has been a pleasure watching his entertaining cricket, and he is incredibly skilled, but the Warne show was the greatest entertainment in cricket in my lifetime and has left a more indelible mark on the game.

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    murali would be the best no doubt

  • POSTED BY Strongscotch on | July 9, 2010, 11:29 GMT

    Hey If Zimb and Bang are considered Minnows and removed from Murali's #'s..then it is fair..Warne numbers against Murali should be removed cos SL were the Minnow then..

    Warne was lucky that he did not have to bowl to the Great Australian batting line up..

  • POSTED BY B.HARISH on | July 9, 2010, 11:26 GMT

    both are legends of spin bowling

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | July 9, 2010, 11:19 GMT

    Without bagging Murali, who was no doubt the single biggest factor for Sri Lanka being a major competitor in test cricket over the past 16 yrs, the age old argument about wickets per test is baseless for the this reason. Whilst Murali only had Vaas who took over 200 wickets bowlong with him and the only bowler who could be termed anywhere now test class, Warne played with the following players; McGrath 563 wkts, Lee 310, McDermott 291, Gillespie 259, Hughes 212, McGill 208. So after these guys took their share of wickets, the end result meant Warne had a lot less wickets to scalp than Murali. The difference being that Warne was able to play in teams that had 3 other world class bowlers with him taking wickets & usually had to wait far konger to come on to bowl, if at all if the quick bowlers blasted away the opposition. Same argument for top order wickets as well, Murali would have had far more opportunities to bowl at them so should have had a better strike rate. Both were champions.

  • POSTED BY pinhead9810 on | July 9, 2010, 10:45 GMT

    Great work Rajesh. I would like to remind people that Murali threw most of his ball and I am not trying to take anything of this guy - his record is amazing. It amazes me that Lara and Tendulkar did well against one and average against the other. I still believe that Shane Warne is better than Murali

  • POSTED BY Sanju123 on | July 9, 2010, 10:15 GMT

    there is no point in compairing these two legends.It is like you compare your left and right hand....! which is more important.....?These two are two genious of two different disciplines.Only thing is we were fortunate to witness the two heros simultaneously.Remember the test series in Srilanka in 2004.Both were at their peaks...Wonderful to see.....

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    No matter what the stats and analysis say, Warne was the better bowlers, if you ask anyone which spinner would he prefer to watch, one would easily say 'Shane Warne', to me, Murali is a chucker, look at his action, not only the Doosras but the normal off spin! and again, Warne was the more entertaining to watch and he had taken some memorable wickets like the ball of the century to Gatting!

  • POSTED BY nefari on | July 9, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    Well unless it is possible to compare their bowling partners, runs on the board, partnership breaking capability of them AND their bowling team mates, pitch conditions, rain, relief of knowing there is other match winners to bowl more attackingly and maybe even more factors, you simply will never settle any debate when comparing players.

  • POSTED BY Bigbanger666 on | July 9, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    You can compare and twist averages as much as you like but cricketing history will not look favorably on Murali. There are serious issues when laws of the game have to be changed to allow one cricketer to keep playing!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY CA_ASHISH on | July 9, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    I think the strongest point everyone misses is the amount of bowling Murali does in a match. Murali's Balls Bowled per test are 50 more than that of Warnies'. This is the reason, that though he has played 13 matches less than Warnie, but still he has bowled about 3000 Deliveries more than the latter. This is bound to create a gap in the wickets coloumn. Add to that the difference caused by the pacers snaring up the tailenders in case of Australia.

    Hence though Murali will end up having more wickets, there is not much to choose between the two. Both the players are legends in their own right and the fact that we are having this discussion, even post their hay days speaks volums of the imprint these guys have left in the minds of the cricket lovers

  • POSTED BY Mahiru on | July 9, 2010, 9:23 GMT

    why not also take into account warne took drugs and was banned.. he even blamed his mother..murali did not.. so actually warne was the cheater who even got caught doing it..afterall murali was a gentleman and warne was a rowdy

  • POSTED BY nawwabsahab on | July 9, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    warne is a real bowler guys come on. We all know that murliz action is so insane we can put him in a non bowler type category. Would u like any young kid to follow murliz action or u like him to be warns..answer it plz? murli was a wise bowler and really fortunate to play on such a high level with such bad wrong action

  • POSTED BY PSK_analyst on | July 9, 2010, 8:54 GMT

    Can we have the corr. averages against the top 6 batsmen of the two bowlers ...but that will tedious to compute , isnt it?

  • POSTED BY Muthu_PR on | July 9, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    Rajesh, In addition to this I would like to see the split between top order and tailenders wickets both Warne and Murali have got.

  • POSTED BY Shafaet on | July 9, 2010, 8:41 GMT

    Had there been a mcgrath in lanka, could murali get so much wickets? mcgrath have eaten large share of warne's wicket. anyway hats off to murali. he is a great cricketer

  • POSTED BY capitalH on | July 9, 2010, 8:16 GMT

    Something else to consider is runs on the board.

    Warne has played with one of the strongest batting teams in the world, and had plenty of runs on the board when bowling, meaning he can attack.

    Murali has had often to bowl defensively.

    You can perhaps investigate this by looking how at how Warne & Murali performed when you bucket their respective team's batting performance.

  • POSTED BY Vishnu27 on | July 9, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    The main difference is more simple: one was a bowler, the other was not.

  • POSTED BY CricFan24 on | July 9, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    1) I still think Warne is the better bowler. 2) The figures show SRTs decline in the mid 2000s. He is just about the worst performer vs. Murali. In the1st 9 inn. Murali got him out twice. In the next 7 inn. 5 Times! In the last series again not once. 3) Warne seems to have sorted out Lara quite well and that too in the 2000s in conditions generally favouring batsmen. 4) Not Muralis fault that he played those matches vs zim and ban. He might have added quality wickets if played vs another nation (such as Eng as mentioned)

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    definitely good analysis there, but one should also take into account the fact that how well they have fared overseas and how much they averaged in winning cause

  • POSTED BY Boris72 on | July 9, 2010, 7:50 GMT

    I put these two bowlers as equal, no doubt about it. Love them both, and wish that magically they would restart their careers and we get to see them all over again from the start.

    The only thing I have to say is that when it comes to entertaining the audience, Warne wins there. His plans were magical, he would bowl half the day and still not vary an inch from his plan unless he really needed to. He went for quite a few runs, but at the same time there have been only two batsmen I remember consistently get the better of him in the whole world. It really was a joy to watch him, and being a legspinner did help him out in that regard, off spinners are much more defensive by the nature of their deliveries.

  • POSTED BY chandau on | July 9, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    How about average wickets per match? Murali 5.75 v Warne 4.87. If this is shown in the above data (against England for e.g. Murali averages 8 per test as opposed to 5.86 by Warne; even against B'desh & Zim, Murali averages 7 per test against Warne's 5.7) it will be clear what ARJUNA RANATHUNGA said a long time ago is true and factual; Shane Warne is a good bowler but not the great bowler people make him out to be!!! cheers

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | July 9, 2010, 7:37 GMT

    It may be worthwhile to let us know the number of top order wickets ( No 1 to 6) and bottom order (7 to 11) the two of them got. That should be very revealing.

  • POSTED BY venkatesh1214 on | July 9, 2010, 7:13 GMT

    Interesting, Shane Warne's record against bowling to Tendulkar and Dravid is not noted down, and that's exactly what I was looking for.

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  • POSTED BY venkatesh1214 on | July 9, 2010, 7:13 GMT

    Interesting, Shane Warne's record against bowling to Tendulkar and Dravid is not noted down, and that's exactly what I was looking for.

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | July 9, 2010, 7:37 GMT

    It may be worthwhile to let us know the number of top order wickets ( No 1 to 6) and bottom order (7 to 11) the two of them got. That should be very revealing.

  • POSTED BY chandau on | July 9, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    How about average wickets per match? Murali 5.75 v Warne 4.87. If this is shown in the above data (against England for e.g. Murali averages 8 per test as opposed to 5.86 by Warne; even against B'desh & Zim, Murali averages 7 per test against Warne's 5.7) it will be clear what ARJUNA RANATHUNGA said a long time ago is true and factual; Shane Warne is a good bowler but not the great bowler people make him out to be!!! cheers

  • POSTED BY Boris72 on | July 9, 2010, 7:50 GMT

    I put these two bowlers as equal, no doubt about it. Love them both, and wish that magically they would restart their careers and we get to see them all over again from the start.

    The only thing I have to say is that when it comes to entertaining the audience, Warne wins there. His plans were magical, he would bowl half the day and still not vary an inch from his plan unless he really needed to. He went for quite a few runs, but at the same time there have been only two batsmen I remember consistently get the better of him in the whole world. It really was a joy to watch him, and being a legspinner did help him out in that regard, off spinners are much more defensive by the nature of their deliveries.

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    definitely good analysis there, but one should also take into account the fact that how well they have fared overseas and how much they averaged in winning cause

  • POSTED BY CricFan24 on | July 9, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    1) I still think Warne is the better bowler. 2) The figures show SRTs decline in the mid 2000s. He is just about the worst performer vs. Murali. In the1st 9 inn. Murali got him out twice. In the next 7 inn. 5 Times! In the last series again not once. 3) Warne seems to have sorted out Lara quite well and that too in the 2000s in conditions generally favouring batsmen. 4) Not Muralis fault that he played those matches vs zim and ban. He might have added quality wickets if played vs another nation (such as Eng as mentioned)

  • POSTED BY Vishnu27 on | July 9, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    The main difference is more simple: one was a bowler, the other was not.

  • POSTED BY capitalH on | July 9, 2010, 8:16 GMT

    Something else to consider is runs on the board.

    Warne has played with one of the strongest batting teams in the world, and had plenty of runs on the board when bowling, meaning he can attack.

    Murali has had often to bowl defensively.

    You can perhaps investigate this by looking how at how Warne & Murali performed when you bucket their respective team's batting performance.

  • POSTED BY Shafaet on | July 9, 2010, 8:41 GMT

    Had there been a mcgrath in lanka, could murali get so much wickets? mcgrath have eaten large share of warne's wicket. anyway hats off to murali. he is a great cricketer

  • POSTED BY Muthu_PR on | July 9, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    Rajesh, In addition to this I would like to see the split between top order and tailenders wickets both Warne and Murali have got.