Former Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan said the IPL franchises must be keeping an eye on Wanindu Hasaranga in the ongoing matches against India, and may go after the all-rounder in the auction.
Hasaranga has been a notable performer for Sri Lanka in their rather dispiriting year. Despite Sri Lanka’s series losses to West Indies, Bangladesh, England, and then India, the spin-bowling all-rounder has shone brightly with both bat and ball and kept his side in the contest.
He has scored 344 runs so far this year in 11 ODIs and picked 8 wickets at a brilliant economy of 4.35; the leg-spinner has snapped 12 wickets in 7 T20Is at an economy off 5.33 in 2021.
Muttiah Muralitharan is confident that once Hasaranga gets an IPL team he would only flourish further. But, the legendary spinner also pointed out that IPL teams don’t go after overseas spinner and prefer a local spinner instead. Nonetheless, with two new IPL teams to be added next season, there is a good chance that the all-rounder would be picked in the auction.
“IPL franchise should look at him. But the problem is if it’s a local players, he walks into the side. But if it’s a foreign player, you have to see which franchise wants a foreign spinner,” Muttiah Muralitharan told ESPNcricinfo.
“It’s a tricky thing. They will buy him but playing him is something which will not be easy for a franchise. Because some franchise look mostly at Indian spinners rather than foreign spinners. He will get a launch and if he gets a game or two and performs, then he will be a regular player.”
In shorter games, he is a very good bowler: Muttiah Muralitharan
The Sunrisers Hyderabad spin bowling coach has observed Hasaranga as a better T20 bowler than he is in 50-over cricket. Overall the 23-year-old has snapped 75 wickets in 58 T20s and strikes at 132.78 with the bat.
Muttiah Muralitharan was impressed by the way Hasaranga took the wicket of a well-set Suryakumar Yadav in the first T20I on Sunday; the spinner dismissed Yadav after he was hit for a six with a similar shot.
“He bowls well in T20s most of the time. In shorter games he is a very good bowler. He took the wicket of Suryakumar Yadav which was important otherwise, Suryakumar would have gone on to score even bigger score. The total would have been very different,” the legendary spinner stated.