Former Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has stressed on the importance of having a back-up plan in the game. He cited his own example to back his point. The legendary spinner, who is the all-time leading wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs, revealed that while growing up, he practiced bowling wrist spin as Plan B.
Muttiah Muralitharan’s illustrious career was marred by controversy over his bowling action. Due to an unusual hyperextension of his congenitally bent arm during delivery, his bowling action was called into question on a number of occasions by officials.
He was infamously no-balled repeatedly by former Australia umpire Ross Emerson for chucking during a tri-series in Australia in 1998-99 and had his action tested and corrected several times during his career. The Sri Lanka great was perhaps aware of the complications with his action and he thus decided to practice leg-spin too while growing up.
“I used to bowl leg spin also when I was young, so I thought in case I went for tests on my action and then it doesn’t work, I’d become a leg spinner,” Muttiah Muralitharan said on the Mind Masters Show by MFORE on Star Sports Tamil.
“As for everything, even when you play cricket you should have plan A & plan B. You can’t just stick to one plan. Same with any sport. Any day you can face a failure in your life or sport, failure is guaranteed, you will need to think about it and take it positively and move on saying tomorrow is another day,” he added.
He further said how important it is in international game to be mentally fit. The most decorated spinner of all time said that several technically gifted players failed to do well because of their failure to deal well with pressure.
“In any game, 90 per cent of the work is to be tactically and mentally fit. Only then can you play. When you are young, you won’t immediately think about that (being mentally fit) because of your interest and love for the game. Automatically, without being told, you’ll think about what to do and do it,” he said.
“But when you get into the professional level, it’s totally a mental game because of the pressure. A lot of cricketers who have good technique and haven’t dealt with this pressure, have fallen off. So, the mental aspect is more important in any sport, not just cricket,” he added.
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