Indian Premier League 2014: Don't Need Magic to be Successful in T20 Cricket, Says Muttiah Muralitharan
Plenty of lesser-known Indian spinners have made an impression in the Indian Premier League 2014 but Muttiah Muralitharan feels the T20 format is easier to deal with for spinners, compared to the rigours of Test cricket.
Former Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who is playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League 2014, said spinners do not need magic to shine in T20 cricket and even the most ordinary of the lot can deliver in the shortest format of the game.
Muralitharan is the only bowler to have taken 800 Test wickets and three years after quitting international cricket, still possesses some of the skills that made him such a potent force in his heydays. The off-spinner felt spinners have a better chance of taking wickets in T20s, where they don't have to buy their victims, unlike Test cricket. (Also read: Yuvraj can be India's match winner in WC 2015: Muralitharan)
"Even an ordinary spinner can be a good bowler in T20 because it is the game where you don't have to buy wickets. You will get wickets if you bowl tight. You don't have to be a big spinner, you don't have to have magic in T20s but you have to have magic in Test cricket to take wickets; to some extent even in one-day cricket," Muralitharan told the Deccan Herald.
A host of Indian spinners have starred in the IPL with the likes of Amit Mishra, Karn Sharma, Pravin Tambe and discard Harbhajan Singh acting as crucial performers for their sides. However, Murali feels spinners can make an impact because batsmen try to attack them and therein lies the chance to take wickets.
"In T20 cricket, if you bowl spin, people try to hit you. Sometimes you get a wicket, you put pressure on the batsman in that over. Just go and bowl and have a big heart, Muralitharan said. "Some days you win, some days you don't. That's the way it is. It's all about not over-confusing yourself. Just go and play because in T20, you can't plan a great deal." (Must read: Bowling with courage is important, says Harbhajan)
Murali, who has not been a big success himself in the IPL, said spinners need to change their mindset coming to the T20 format from Test cricket, where it is difficult to earn wickets with batsmen ready to bide time and put a tag on their wickets.
"Your mindset has to change. In Test cricket, you have to buy wickets. You can't keep on bowling maiden overs and waiting because you won't be successful. You have to have some tricks; you have to flight the ball, have variations. Test cricket teaches you so many things," he said.
Foreign players such as Rajasthan Royals' Ben Cutting and Kolkata Knight Riders' Morne Morkel have also spoken about their experiences of bowling in Indian conditions during the IPL. While Cutting said Indian pitches are suitable for bowling the odd bouncer, Morkel suggested body language is key for bowlers to succeed at any pitch.