If we rate all time bowlers in the world, Murali will definitely be among top 3. As some people say he is the greatest bowler world has ever seen, but in to my knowledge it’s not fare for him to say like that. Because Murali is a bowler the world will see once in a lifetime.
Shane Warne is also in top 3. But We cannot say who is better, Warny or Murali, because Murali is a different caliber of bowler than Warne. Shane Warne have skills as well as mental games with the batsmen where Murali rely purely on Skills. His strength is his turn and variations. I’ve never seen a bowler turn the ball so much than Murali. Shane Warne does that but not always. But Murali is doing that so often.
He can turn the ball in any surface. We were in the same school and I was in Under 15 team when he plays for first XI. I remember once in the college, he turned the ball on the Matting like no one does. If you know what is a matting, you probably know how hard it is to turn the ball on that piece of carpet.
In his final year in the college we won 95 percent of the matches played and all thanks to Murali. School cricket matches plays only 2 days, we have to bat at least once and out the opposition twice to win the matches within those two days. It’s quite hard to do that but with the help of Murali our college team managed to do that 12 time form 13 matches. Most impressive thing is up in Kandy pitches are more greener and seamer friendly. Spinner can hardly turn the ball, but Murali does that very easily. Believe me he took 127 wickets in just 13 matches in one season. Unbelievable isn’t it.
Even at that time Murali is a different bowler, he turns the ball and gets the wickets. He doesn’t have much armory or variation in his spells but turn the ball like hell. Batsmen got screwed up while trying to play the ball out side the off stump but found it hits the leg stump at the end, or leave the ball yards outside the stumps but suddenly found his off stump or leg stump is missing. Once I also had the honor of facing him when he came to one of our practice sessions and bowled at us back in old school days. I still remember how hard to pick the ball and guess how much it’s going to turn.
Once he got Sri Lanka colours we saw him doing the same for Sri Lanka. At the beginning most of the batsman found difficulties of guessing the turn of his deliveries. After playing few years for Sri Lanka he developed his other variations so nicely and became even more devastating
But to his credit I must say he is a down to earth player. We don’t feel uncomfortable or gets the feeling that we’re with a world record holder. He is just simple person!