Island Cricket

Friday, November 30, 2007

Matthew Maynard: England can tame Murali - Times Online

Matthew Maynard: England can tame Murali - Times Online: "Matthew Maynard, the former England assistant coach, has backed Michael Vaughan's side to overcome the threat of spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and triumph in Sri Lanka.

Muralitharan needs just five more wickets to overhaul Shane Warne's world Test bowling record of 708. But Maynard, who worked alongside Duncan Fletcher from September 2004 until May 2007, has backed England's batsmen to come out on top in the three-match Test series.

'Sri Lanka are a different prospect with Muralitharan back in their side - but England definitely have the capabilities to counter him,' Maynard said."

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After reading John Buchanan's view on how Australia countered Murali, I don't think it is completely impossible for England to take a page from the Aussie handbook.

Murali's performance in Australia is testimony that even the great Murali is all but a mere mortal.

The Australian's realised the key to success against Sri Lanka is a plan that revolved around keeping the middle order away from Murali.

I have stated in the past Murali is not naturally attacking or aggressive and he hates confrontation. This is a psychological block that needs addressing even this late in his career.

Ranatunga was an aggressive skipper who read the game well and many of murali's successes came with a swarm of close in fielders to assist him. Even an LBW decision was induced because the batsman was in two minds to play forward and give the close in men catches.

In Australia Murali bowled a 10 over spell with no slip. Where does the Doosra fall in to that equation?

"It is a testimony to the Australian batting lineup that numbers 8 -11 did not bat, and Adam Gilchrist had only one brief appearance (it should be noted his keeping maintained its incredibly high standards of returns with 10 catches taken in the 2 games).

It also showed the lack of penetration of Sri Lanka's new ball bowlers. They arrived here heralded as one of the better bowling attacks in world cricket, but did not deliver. Murali was forced to bowl with defensive fields for the majority of his overs, although I think he still should have had at least two close-in catchers for his bowling as he creates chances and uncertainty where no one else can." - Buchanan.

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