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Thread: Murali's away record

  1. #1
    State Vice-Captain Francis's Avatar
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    Murali's away record

    Firstly it's with a little apprehension that I created this thread. I was going to post this in the Warne vs. Murali thread, however, it was shut down and probably rightfully so. Mentioning Murali seems to intice stupid comments from people who don't like him. Criticising him, which I will do, incites even worse reactions. It's never happened to me, but I've seen people being called "racist" when they criticise Murali... I guess people look at his stats and figure saying he's anything other than brilliant has to be racial. Anyway I'm writing this first paragraph in hope that this thread will produce productive discussion.

    My question is, if you look at Murali's record outside of Sri Lanka... does he really compare to some of the greatest bowlers ever?

    Now I should mention I think Murali's a great bowler, no question. But something I read recently sparked my curiosity. I noticed Murali had Anil Kumble-like figures outside of Sri Lanka. When I read here (http://www.muralifans.com/Subpages/N...3_07_01_06.htm)
    that Murali had an average of around 27 against Zimbabwe in away games, I thought that had to be wrong. It wasn't... his international record against Zimbabwe shows him as having an average of around 27.

    I think when we judge cricketers, we shouldn't judge them solely on figures. The best judge is the amount of games they impacted. Has Murali actually impacted that many games against teams while he was away?

    People talk about him having an advantage on dusty pitches. All bowlers have conditions they bowl best in. I've seen the best struggle in conditions that don't suit them. I have to say though, Murali's advantage seems to be the biggest of all prolific wicket-takers. No bowler that I know of has such a big difference in average when they're bowling on unsuiting wickets. Anybody suggesting pitch conditions aren't a factor are wrong.

    Now again, I like Murali and he's great. Taking 9 wickets against England is an example of him rocking up in away games, and I'm not discounting him from being a big factor in away games. But is it unreasonable to think that in most of his international games, he wasn't great. If he played for a country outside of the sub-continent... what do you think his figures would look like? I've seen teams play him in Sri Lanka and it's as defensive as you can imagine. Batsmen not going for shots for fear of how the wicket works. I mean there is a serious difference.

    Right now I'm questioning him and he may not even be better than say... Glenn McGrath. I'd take Murali over McGrath right now. But guys like Akram could do it anywhere... Murali has a terrible record overseas by his career standard. My style of reviewing cricketers is to look at their record of impacting games... how many games do Sri Lanka win away from their home? Murali's such a key player and a big reason why Sri Lanka rock in Sri Lanka. Is Murali really one of the five greatest bowlers ever when his record away from Sri Lanka doesn't speak well for him?

    I don't know... I haven't decided yet, but I really think this is a factor that, while not being overlooked, is forgotten in it's magnitude. It's such a big difference away from home. He's done good in the West Indies and England though.

    And please, lets have a good discussion here. Nobody's saying Murali isn't great. He's a joy to watch... and perhaps we shouldn't mention the name "Warne" in this thread. This is solely about Murali.

  2. #2
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    I think when we judge cricketers, we shouldn't judge them solely on figures. The best judge is the amount of games they impacted. Has Murali actually impacted that many games against teams while he was away?
    You stick Gary Sobers, the best damn cricketer the world has ever seen, in a team of octagenarians taking on current-day OZ
    How much of an 'impact' do you think Sobers would have in the match ?

    f he played for a country outside of the sub-continent... what do you think his figures would look like? I've seen teams play him in Sri Lanka and it's as defensive as you can imagine. Batsmen not going for shots for fear of how the wicket works. I mean there is a serious difference.
    He would be averaging around 27 or so.
    Look- for spinners, they NEED cutting edge pace bowlers to succeed on non-friendly wickets.
    Which is why spinners operating without the help of cutting edge pace bowlers have a pretty ordinary average.
    Because by the time the spinner comes on(in an attack lacking cutting edge pace bowling), the openers are well set and a lot of the advantage is negated.

    And SL's failure to win away from home has much more to do with their fragile batting overseas rather than Murali's bowling.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend andyc's Avatar
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    There's not really a huge difference in the two averages

    His home average is 19.73, while his away average is 27.33. There is a difference of about 8 there, but 27.33 is by no one's measure a bad average.
    Quote Originally Posted by flibbertyjibber View Post
    Only a bunch of convicts having been beaten 3-0 and gone 9 tests without a win and won just 1 in 11 against England could go into the home series saying they will win. England will win in Australia again this winter as they are a better side which they have shown this summer. 3-0 doesn't lie girls.

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    State Vice-Captain Francis's Avatar
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    You stick Gary Sobers, the best damn cricketer the world has ever seen, in a team of octagenarians taking on current-day OZ
    How much of an 'impact' do you think Sobers would have in the match ?


    To be honest I don't rate Sobgers that highly as a bowler.

    He would be averaging around 27 or so.
    Look- for spinners, they NEED cutting edge pace bowlers to succeed on non-friendly wickets.


    I agree. You are completely right. Does that mean he's one of the five greatest bowlers ever?

    Which is why spinners operating without the help of cutting edge pace bowlers have a pretty ordinary average.

    I see you have a habbit of being right.

    And SL's failure to win away from home has much more to do with their fragile batting overseas rather than Murali's bowling.

    I agree to an extent. Their batting's not that much better outside of Sri Lanka unless I missed something (which I may have). It's just that Murali is such a huge player in Sri Lanka that it's easier to win there.


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    International Vice-Captain Dasa's Avatar
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    In this article by Charles Davis (writes for The Age and probably other media outlets as well), an interesting point is made - I'll quote it straight from the article:
    The issue of advantageous conditions prevailing in certain countries is a complex one. It might seem obvious from the home and away figures that Sri Lankan conditions must favour Murali’s bowling, yet if Murali’s figures are put to one side, finger-spinners as a group do not do especially well in Sri Lanka, averaging about 38 runs per wicket over the last 20 years, which is little different to their average elsewhere. Sri Lanka has been a graveyard for legspinners, with Warne an extraordinary exception: legspinners other than Warne have averaged 45 there. Then there is the unusual case of the “spinner’s paradise”, India. Neither bowler has enjoyed any real success there, even though their Indian counterparts, Kumble the wristspinner and Harbhajan Singh the finger-spinner, do far better at home than away. I would suggest that the quality of the Indian batsmen is a more important factor here than the characteristics of Indian wickets.

  6. #6
    State Vice-Captain Francis's Avatar
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    There's not really a huge difference in the two averages
    His home average is 19.73, while his away average is 27.33.


    Hmm this is where a debate comes in. I think that is a big difference. This is coming from a man who thinks it's ridiculous to compare Hadlee and Marshall's average to see who's better because two runs means nothing. But yeah, people see a big different in much smaller margins. Lets that say, with that ratio of an average. For every fiver he gets, Murali sprays an extra 35 runs. Figures of 5-100 look a lot better than 5-135 if you ask me. But it comes down to opinion I guess.

    There is a difference of about 8 there, but 27.33 is by no one's measure a bad average.

    It's a fantastic average that only a fantastic player can have. Makes him one of the ten best bowlers ever for me. Terrific figures... just very different from his home figures.

  7. #7
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    To be honest I don't rate Sobgers that highly as a bowler.
    Perhaps not, but he still was the best cricketer the planet has ever seen.

    Does that mean he's one of the five greatest bowlers ever?
    Its hard to compare the effectiveness of spinners with pacers. But IMO, he is the greatest spinner to play cricket.

    Their batting's not that much better outside of Sri Lanka unless I missed something (which I may have). It's just that Murali is such a huge player in Sri Lanka that it's easier to win there.
    Well its not just Murali - Vaas plays significantly better at home than away, so does Jayasurya, Jayawardene, Sangakkara and Atapattu IIRC....thats essentially the whole team.

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    State Vice-Captain Francis's Avatar
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    Dasa's post was interesting. But all variables considered... it's just obvious Murali does better in Sri Lanka. It can't be anything else but the pitches.

    The point on India is interesting, but really there aren't many international spinners who do well there. Murali, by his standards, doesn't do to well there. But I think what he's done there is incredible because of how well spin is played there. Batters there are brought up with spin.

    I don't know if there's been many quality leg-spinners that have gone to Sri Lanka. Since Sri Lanka started playing cricket, the only great leg spinners I can think of that came into the game were Qudir, Warne and MacGill. Not that many great offies have been there either. The 80s left a huge gap in spin bowling really.

  9. #9
    International Vice-Captain Dasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francis
    Since Sri Lanka started playing cricket, the only great leg spinners I can think of that came into the game were Qudir, Warne and MacGill.
    Kumble?



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