As India is heading towards a 5-0 whitewash in the ongoing series against Sri Lanka, one more match to go, the only blissful moment for the Lankan fans came during the fourth match on Thursday when Muttiah Muralitharan became the highest one-day wicket-taker.
The off-spinner Muralitharan on Thursday became the highest wicket-taker in one-day internationals after claiming his 503rd victim. He broke the record of Pakistani pace bowler Wasim Akram (502), who had claimed this in 356 matches before quitting international cricket in 2003.
Muralitharan achieved the feat in his 328th ODI dismissing Indian star batsman of the day Gautam Gambhir, on 150, in his 10th and final over to surpass Akram’s record. He is also the leading wicket taker in the longer version of the game with 769 wickets in 125 matches.
Interestingly, India’s Anil Kumble (337) and Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya (312) are the only two other spinners in the top ten ODI most wicket taker list after Muralitharan; mostly pacemen dominate the list.
The 36-year-old bowler made his one-day debut against India on August 12, 1993 in which he finished a 10-over spell with a figure 1/38; Praveen Amre was the only victim.
Murali’s career was brawled with the only controversy linked to his bowling action on many occasions. The entire storm cropped up with his mystery ball called “doosra”. Doosra is actually an off-spin delivery that ends like a leg spin (spinning away from the right hand batsman). This usually confuse any specialised batsman, however, his action was later cleared by the International Cricket Council.
As far as the present series is concerned, Muralitharan to this point has claimed only three wickets in four matches. As a result of this, the difference in overall Lankan performance can well be imagined, despite coming out with a victorious series against another mighty Asian team Pakistan just weeks before.
The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Indian team is aiming to return home with a 5-0 whitewash rolling with the same pace as played against England in India in last November. The Lankan, however, will try their best to take out something positive by winning the last ODI scheduled on Sunday (February 8) and also the lone Twenty20 International on February 10.
MK DAMODARANFebruary 7, 2009 at 12:00 AM