Muralitharan, who nonetheless holds the file for many quantity of wickets in each Tests (800) and ODIs (534), believes that in T20 internationals the bowlers cannot all the time go for wickets like Tests or 50-over cricket.
“Defending is attacking in T20 in my mind. You need to aim to go for 6 or 6.5 runs an over and if you can manage that, you will probably take a couple of wickets as well,” Muralitharan wrote in his column for ICC forward of the T20 World Cup.
“My expertise, each as a participant and a coach or mentor in T20 cricket, was that you’ve got to strategy it with a defensive mindset, whereas in ODIs or Tests, the purpose is to take wickets,” he added.
The off-spin wizard stated that the preliminary notion about spinners being cannon fodder in the shortest format has proved to be a fable.
“Initially, most people thought that the spinners would be the victims of T20 cricket and that the batters would go after them. But it is clear now that the slower you bowl, the more difficult it is to hit.
“The spinners have change into an important bowlers and even the quicks now have to bowl slower balls and different deliveries since you need to keep away from the ball coming onto the bat as a lot as potential,” he opined.
Speaking about Sri Lanka, Muralitharan has no qualms in admitting that the standard of the island nation’s cricket has gone down in the past few years. The 2014 ICC T20 World Cup champions are being forced to play the preliminary round at the mega-event’s upcoming edition starting Sunday.
Sri Lanka, a team that once boasted of players like Muralitharan himself, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, TM Dilshan, Lasith Malinga haven’t qualified for the Super 12s due to their low ranking points and are forced to play Round 1 which comprises of minnows like Oman, Namibia.
“From a Sri Lankan perspective, the workforce could have to undergo qualifying in the primary spherical. The workforce has gone down in the final 5 or 6 years and it is the primary time in our historical past that it has occurred to us,” he said.
“Frankly talking, we weren’t ok, and haven’t performed ok cricket which is why we’re in this place. But the workforce has succesful gamers who can attain the Super 12s and have an effect, however first they’ve to qualify,” the off-spinner blended caution with optimism.
Muralitharan hopes that the bowling unit will compensate for a weaker batting line-up.
“The spinners are superb, whereas the batting is a little bit bit weaker, but when they will step up and handle first rate totals, then the bowlers can defend them. If they make it by way of, I feel they are going to upset just a few groups.”
He also had an advice for Sri Lankan team and all the lesser known teams — not to be overawed by names.
“My recommendation to the Sri Lankan gamers and everybody on the World Cup can be not to overthink it, notably the bowlers. Don’t deal with the names and the gamers you’re going up towards. You have to attempt not to fear in regards to the strain and simply take pleasure in it. That is what T20 cricket is all about.”