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Thread: Murali's Record

  1. #1
    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Murali's Record

    Okay, so the dust has settled on the SL v Aus series, and there's something I want to raise with our erstwhile CW community.

    Over recent months there have been a number of discussions on the record of certain players and whether they qualify as good, very good, greats of their eras, all time greats or the best ever in their discipline.

    Among those discussions has been reference to certain players who cannot/ should not, in people's opinions, be considered all time great players or the best ever in their field because their records against certain opponents or in certain parts of the world are not as good as their records in other parts of the world. Or because they have failed (comparatively) against certain opponents.

    A prominent example was the discussion re. Dennis Lillee. In my opinion, if it's good enough to say that there must be a question mark over Lillee's record as a potential all time great/ best ever because he failed in 4 tests on the subcontinent, then the same question mark must be raised over Murali's record given his, frankly very ordinary record against Australia in Australia:

    Overall Bowling Averages
    Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10
    115 198 38078 15331 704 9/51 16/220 21.77 2.41 54.0 42 60 20

    v Australia - Overall Bowling Averages
    Mat Wkts BB Ave 5w
    12 54 6/59 36.50 5

    v Australia - in Australia Bowling Averages (playing for SL)
    Mat Wkts BB Ave 5w
    4 7 2/170 106.85 0

    Lest it be said this is a stitch up, here's Murali's record in Australia including the ICC XI "test":

    Mat Wkts BB Ave 5w
    5 12 3/55 75.41 0

    A few things to bare in mind when assessing that record.

    Finger spinners do not do so well in Australia, traditionally speaking. There is an issue in that regard as to whether Murali actually IS a finger spinner - seems to me he's really a combination of wrist and finger spinner.

    He has bowled to very, very capable Australian batting line ups on his tours here.

    He was called here in 1995(?) in the Boxing Day test. Imo he would not be human if that did not affect his performance in that test and on that tour. Not an excuse, just a matter of fact really.

    Now, baring in mind all these things, or indeed any others people may want to bring up, where does Murali sit as an "all time great", or the best ever spinner, given his failings in Australia?

    Please bare in mind this is not a Murali v Warne thread, it's not got a thing to do with anone's thoughts on his action, it's purely an attempt to apply the same criterion/ crieria to his record as that which has been applied to other players on this forum.

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  2. #2
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    I think the reason people use Lillee's record in the sub-continent against him, is because there are players with similar records, who ALSO have a good record in the sub-continent (eg. Marshall).

    As no spinner has a similar record to Murali, and ALSO has a better record vs Australia, there's a bit of a difference.

    It is a small blight on Murali's career, and it just proves he's human, like Lilee and like many other players with holes in their career record (Sachin vs. South Africa (though its far from ordinary, its not good), Ponting in India, etc.)
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    JJD Heads Athlai's Avatar
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    One of the best ever IMO, his team and the pitches gave him no assistance in Australia and therefore he will always have this abnormal statistic in Australia despite bowling beautifully given the conditions.

    Any player with such a good average in todays game definitely deserves a great amount of kudos and Murali certainly deserves a mention in any all-time list.
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    RTDAS pasag's Avatar
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    The Lillee argument when argued by the better ones isn't that he's not an all-time great, rather that there are some better than him as they've suceeded where he hasn't. Anyways, Murali's an all-time great, but not the undisputed greatest ever bowler either.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Pratters's Avatar
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    I don't buy the Lillee argument because Lillee played in run fests and the sample size is too small for me. So I don't question Lillee's claim to greatness because of his blot.

    Murali's stats are more of a blot though. However, I wouldn't hold it too much against him. It is a blot neverthless.

  6. #6
    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    WEll, he has had what 3 tests since that boxing day tour????


    Hard to judge on that, esp. since two of those have JUST happened... He seems to have missed out on playing in Australia in his prime...... Also, this recent tour is a perfect example of why a spinner needs a quality fast bowler at the top... Bowling to the openers with the score at 60 or 70/0 is never easy for the spinner... Also, from whatever I have read and heard on this series, a few catches were dropped and a couple of close calls turned down off his bowling..... So all these have to be taken into account.


    But having said that, I have seen some spinners be able to do better in similar circumstances... But I am still skeptical to include this against Murali, simply because the sample space is too small.... Had this happened more often, MAYBE. The one thing that is obvious is that the Aussies play Murali better than most other teams, maybe apart from India....


    One thing I do seem to have noticed with Murali compared to Warne is that while he seems that slight bit more consistent than Warney as a bowler, I don't think he has that ability to bounce back out of nowhere, which Warne did. Not saying it makes one better than the other or whatever, but it seems to me that Warne is more likely to bounce back better after a bad start than Murali.. But then again, it seems to me, Murali is somewhat less likely to have a bad start than Warne.... I don't think much has changed from what my opinion on this matter was a few months ago...
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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pasag View Post
    The Lillee argument when argued by the better ones isn't that he's not an all-time great, rather that there are some better than him as they've suceeded where he hasn't. Anyways, Murali's an all-time great, but not the undisputed greatest ever bowler either.
    Yeah agreed.

    Lillee is quite obviously an all-time great, and most knowledgeable posters would agree with that. Same with Murali too.

    Its unfortunate holes in their record which they have to deal with. There's various reasons why they exist, but they exist none the less. I remember some Australian posters throwing out reasons for Warne's poor record in India, such as lack of cricket, shoulder injury etc. Same goes for Lillee and Murali, with the small sample space, the pitches, the bowling support etc.

    All three are clearly all-time greats though.

  8. #8
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    I would not hold is failure in Aust against him, but there are other things that I would hold against him, which would stop me placing him in any of my all time teams
    You know it makes sense.

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    Hall of Fame Member chaminda_00's Avatar
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    He failed in four Test, in 100 plus career meh.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaminda_00 View Post
    He failed in four Test, in 100 plus career meh.
    He also failed in a few in India as well, not that I care itbk

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    International Coach biased indian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgey View Post
    A prominent example was the discussion re. Dennis Lillee. In my opinion, if it's good enough to say that there must be a question mark over Lillee's record as a potential all time great/ best ever because he failed in 4 tests on the subcontinent, then the same question mark must be raised over Murali's record given his, frankly very ordinary record against Australia in Australia:
    i know a australian leg spinner..i cannot recollect his name now..who has an even worse record aganist the best batting line up of spinning bowling he had to ever face and that to in the most favourable condition a spinner could ask for..and when there was no umpires to call him for no ball and a crowd that was not hostile to him....and he still failed...so i think dennis lille is wrongly being questioned..if the best his country had to produce in spin department failed miserably..what esle we can expect from a pace man...
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  12. #12
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Perm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pasag View Post
    The Lillee argument when argued by the better ones isn't that he's not an all-time great, rather that there are some better than him as they've suceeded where he hasn't.
    Exactly, and people usually fail to realise this.
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    To be honest, I am a critic of Murali's action. I trust science on the fact that he does not throw/chuck and this has been proved numerous times. However, for a bowler (whether he bowls or throws - may cause an argument here!) to show the control that Murali does over the length of time that Murali has done deserves ultimate respect in my opinion.
    Imagine...you were practising fielding and every 2nd throw you hit the stumps from 22 yards for over 10 years, i doubt many of us could achieve that, whereas I'm not saying Murali hits the stumps every 2nd ball but his control is phenomenal and puts the ball where he wants to put it more often than not. Add to the control his 'bowler's' brain and you have one of the best bowlers in the world...ever.
    Murali has proved this time and time again and there are still those rejecting his achievements because of his action whereas surely throwing a ball in the same spot is harder that bowling it with a economical action such as Mcgrath's ( i know, a fast bowler but worth the analysis) in which his bowling arm and wrist will come down straight, releasing the ball straight time and time again, which made him the worlds 'best' fast bowler of modern day cricket.Surely it is the same for Murali, because he has his own action and constantly puts the ball in the area he wants to.

  14. #14
    International Debutant Dissector's Avatar
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    Agree with Jono. The point about Lillee isn't that he wasn't a great bowler just that he was a lesser bowler than others like Hadlee whose overall record was just as good and who also succeeded in the sub-continent.

    Anyway from what I saw, Murali was bowling quite well but the deck could hardly have been stacked more against him. He was bowling to a top-class batting lineup in near-ideal batting conditions with minimal support from the other bowlers, fielders and his batsmen. If anything this tour illustrates is how difficult it is for a great bowler in an average team to carry an attack almost single-handedly.

  15. #15
    RTDAS pasag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perm View Post
    Exactly, and people usually fail to realise this.
    It's not always argued by the better ones though

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