CricInfo
Top Performer ad
Top Performer of Day 1, 3rd Test - India in Sri Lanka

Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan

Born:17 April 1972, Kandy
Major Teams:Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club, Lancashire, Sri Lanka.
Known As:Muttiah Muralitharan
Batting Style:Right Hand Bat
Bowling Style:Right Arm Off Break
Match pictures:
Muttiah Muralitharan
Previous GO Next
Click "GO" for enlarged picture

Match Stats - Bowling
Overs34.1
Maiden9
Runs87
Wickets8
Exclusive CricInfo Interviews
3rd Test - Day 1:
Muttiah Muralitharan
[ Audio | Transcript]


3rd Test

Sri Lanka v India
[ Scorecard | Report ]
Other Top Performers...

VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar, Steve Waugh
and much more.

Read all about them and other sterling individual performances.

There are times when words are almost totally unnecessary. The first day’s play of the third and final Test match of the India Sri Lanka series was certainly one such occasion. Weaving a web of deceptive subtlety, Muthiah Muralitharan, arguably the world’s best off spinner knocked the stuffing out of the Indian batting. To say that Muralitharan was the top performer would be an understatement for he outshone every other individual by the proverbial country mile. And not just that, he easily outshone his opposite team even.

34.1 overs, 9 maidens, 87 runs and 8 wickets. That is a simply mind boggling analysis. On a first day wicket that did not turn or bounce alarmingly, Murali was able to make things happen. Yes, everyone expected him to have some degree of success. But to account for almost all the wickets that fell was a feat that deserves all the credit it gets. The joke on everyone’s lips was that Chaminda Vaas had actually ruined Murali’s party by picking two wickets!

In just the 14th over of the day the offspinner was introduced into the attack. And from then on he bowled unchanged for over thirty overs, relentlessly attacking the Indian batsmen. It was in the 34th over of the day, soon after lunch that Murali managed to get his foot in the door, deceiving Shiv Sunder Das totally to have him bowled.

From then on the wickets fell at regular intervals. The most crucial of them all was when Rahul Dravid fell. Having compiled 36 runs, Dravid looked to steady the Indian innings. Here’s what Muralitharan did:

Muralitharan to Dravid, OUT: full and on the pads, Dravid comes down the track and flicks the ball straight down the gullet of leg slip, soft dismissal here, Dravid making a start and failing to go on

If top order batsmen like Dravid could not stand up to Murali there was little hope for the tail. Barring Harbhajan Singh, who was dismissed by Vaas, the rest of the tail was mopped up by Muralitharan.

It was total dominance from the offspinner, a spell that set the tone of the Test match. By being so aggressive Muralitharan had stolen the initiative away from Ganguly. The fact that India had won the toss and put up almost 100 for the first wicket was wiped out

Muralitharan’s effort could be the difference between triumph and defeat. Not just this Test match, but the whole series.

E-mail this page to a friend Mail the Editor




CricInfo
CricInfo Home
Indian Cricket
Official Sites
India in Zimbabwe
Challenger Trophy
Australia in India
Ranji Trophy
Coca-Cola Cup