Reveals the secret behind his recent good form September 10, 2006

Australian crowd abuse made me stronger - Murali

Cricinfo staff



'For the last year I have bowled well and I haven't done anything different in these series than at other times' says Murali © AFP

Muttiah Muralitharan attributes his recent good form to the abuse that he faced during VB series in Australia this January. "If there is one thing that maybe has helped me this year it was the experience I had in Australia," Murali told Bigstarcricket website.

"It may sound a strange thing to say as it was a very tough tour for me on and off the field, especially with the abuse we received."

Murali was greeted with chants of 'no-ball' by Australian crowds during the series. He was first no-balled at Melbourne by umpire Darrell Hair in Sri Lanka's tour of Australia in 1995.

"If you go through difficult times and come out the other side, you become a stronger character for it," Murali said. That's what happened to me. I like to think that I am quite strong mentally anyway. But these sort of experiences only make me more determined."

Murali has had a phenomenal run of form the past year collecting 108 Test wickets at an average of 19.37, from 15 matches between September 2005 and August 2006. But in one-day cricket during that period, Murali has got only 36 wickets from 28 matches. "Cricket is like this, wickets can come all at once and at other times you can bowl well and maybe not receive your rewards," Murali said.

"I am in some good form but I wouldn't say it is necessarily the best form of my career. I am just bowling well and have found some good rhythm. For the last year I have bowled well and I haven't done anything different in these series than at other times," he added.