Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has spoken on the bowling style of spin greats Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne. Muralitharan and Warne are two of the most decorated spinners in the history of cricket. While Muralitharan is the highest wicket-taker in Tests, Warne follows him at second.
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Muralitharan ended his illustrious Test career with a staggering 800 wickets while Warne picked up 708 wickets in the longest format of the game. No other bowler has touched even the 650-wicket mark yet. India legend Anil Kumble is third in the list with 619 wickets.
Even in ODIs, the two made their mark. Muralitharan picked up a record 534 wickets in 350 games while Warne picked up 293 wickets in 194 games. And while both the bowlers enjoyed unprecedented success throughout their glorious careers, Jayawardene believes that Warne did not have the variety that Muralitharan did.
Mahela Jayawardene also said that Murali believed in grinding the batsmen down. Speaking about Warne, Mahela Jayawardene said that the former leg-spinner used to invite batsmen to attack him in order to get rid of them.
“Murali was a champion bowler, he went about his game differently to others. Warne did not have the variety that Murali did. Murali knew what he was doing and believed in grinding a batsman down. If he had to wait for ten overs to get a batsman out, he will do that,” Jayawardene told Sanjay Manjrekar in a videocast hosted by ESPNCricinfo.
“Warne and Murali are two different personalities, Warney is a steady leg-spinner but he probably played much more with the tactical honours of you come and attack me, I will get you out, he probably knew that he did not have the variety that Murali had,” he added.