Muttiah Muralitharan has said that Bangladesh will need variety in their bowling stocks to complement the surfeit of left-arm spinners emerging in the country. The retired Muralitharan, the highest wicket-taker in Test and ODI history, is a part of the Chittagong Kings side for the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League. His observations came after Chittagong's encounter with Dhaka Gladiators on Monday, a game in which as many as five left-arm spinners played.
"Most spinners in Bangladesh are left-armers so you need variety in bowling," Muralitharan told the Daily Star. "If you want to do well outside the country, fast bowlers, legspinners and offspinners are needed. You can't just rely on left-arm spinners; I can see there are four-five left-arm spinners in each BPL squad. It might work here, but not in other countries.
"I am telling Bangladesh that you can't make do with left-arm spinners only, get some variety."
Muralitharan, whose last international was the 2011 World Cup final, is satisfied with the spinning talent in world cricket, though he is concerned by the impact of three varied formats on spinners' skills. "There's Daniel Vettori, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Shakib Al Hasan, Graeme Swann, Harbhajan Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin. Sri Lanka has Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath, while from West Indies Sunil Narine is also coming up.
"But I am also worried about the spinners. They have to bowl flatter and faster in Twenty20 cricket while it is a different game in Tests. The coaches have a role here, they have to tell the bowlers how to adjust properly."
Muralitharan has courted success in the Twenty20 format, being a part of the Chennai Super Kings franchise that won the IPL and Champions League in 2010. His participation in the BPL was unplanned, but he looks at it as an opportunity to train ahead of IPL 2012.
"I didn't think I would play in this tournament, so I didn't train much. The last time I bowled before this was on January 4 but it's good that I'm playing. I can prepare for the IPL."