Without a shadow of doubt Muthiah Muralidharan with 788 wickets in Test Matches is a legend.  What makes Muralidharan's achievement even more outstanding  is the fact that  has got those wickets at an average of 22.58 runs per wicket  and a strike rate of 55 balls per wicket.  However one has to admit that Muralidharan's career tally was helped by the fact that batsman of most teams  looked up at him with fear and played defensively, and that suited Muralidharan very well as it gave him  an opportunity to attack batsman and get wickets.  It can well be said that batsmen played into Muralidharan's hands.  Muralidharan has been a failure whenever any batsmen have attacked him.  Muralidharan's career record against Australia and India when not playing at home prove the point

Muralidharan's record in Australia against Australia:- Muralidharan as taken just 12 wickets against Australia in the 5 tests he played in Australia. What is more shocking is the fact that he averaged 75.41 runs per wicket which is extremely high for any bowler leave alone a bowler of Muralidharan's stature.  What is even more shocking is that Muralidarans wickets have come at a strike rate of 131 which means he takes 22 overs to pick up a wicket.  Australian batsman are known to play attacking cricket and they treat Muralidharan in the same way as they treat any other bowler.  There is no respite for Murali in Australia with the likes of Gilchrist and Hayden renowned for their stroke playing abilities not sparing Muralidharan.

Muralidharan record in India against India:- Muralidharan has picked up 36 wickets in India at an average of 45.08 runs per wicket and a strike rate of 87.30 balls per wicket.  The reason for Muralidharans poor performance in India is that Indian batsmen being excellent players of spin play him like any other spinner in India.  In the past batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar never allowed him to settle down by hitting him for boundaries and sixes.  The problem is even more complicated now with the likes of Sehwag, Gambhir, Laxman, Yuvraj and Dhoni too attacking Muralidharan because they know the fact very well that Murali is never the same bowler once he is attacked. In fact tail enders in India too never show any mercy on him.

Muralidharan has played 15 tests in Australia and India picking up 48 wickets at an average of 52.67 and a strike rate of a wicket 98.19 which translates to a wicket almost every 100 deliveries.  If batsman from other countries would have dared to attack Muralidharan they would have had reasonable sucess against Muralidharan.  In the current series being played in India,  Muralidhrans has bowled picked up just 5 wickets in 100 overs, conceding 392 runs.  Muralidharan's strike rate of 121 balls per wicket, economy rate of 3.92 and a bowling average of 79.20 is just an extension of his nightmares against attacking batsmen.


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