Murali set to take on India

Muralitharan believes he has enough tricks up his sleeves to take on the Indians.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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World's highest wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan may have been banned from bowling his most lethal delivery, but believes he has enough tricks up his sleeves to take on the Indians. The spin wizard said the ban on his 'doosra' -- the delivery that moves away from the right handers -- was bound to affect him although he had enough experience to develop new tricks and rattle the opposition. "If you don't allow a bowler to use his weapon, it is like asking someone to run on just one leg. That has been my main weapon and that is being denied to me. It surely is going to affect me," said the off-spinner. Murali came over to the NCC cricket club and practiced in the background as the visiting Indians played a game against some local cricketers ahead of the Asia Cup cricket tournament, starting on Thursday. More cricket One of the most destructive bowlers in the history of the game, Murali feels fettered by the International cricket Council. "I think I can play for six more years. I can still bowl a straighter one and can still impart great spin to my deliveries. Hopefully, I can also use my 'doosra' in near future. It took me four or five years to develop this art." Murali is keen to take the Indians on and feels his mental strength might see him win the day against them. "They are all good batsmen but it is a matter of how well they are batting on a day and how well I am bowling on that day. It is this which decides the issue. "I think the Indian batsmen will give a challenge to me. But when I look at my strength, I think it is 20 per cent natural talent, technique is about 20 per cent. It is mental strength which is 60 or 70 per cent. "It is a mental game and I am very focused on myself. I practice very, very hard. Extra spin still remains my most potent weapon in this battle." ICC decision The bowler was looking forward to the study proposed to be carried out by the ICC on all bowlers during the Champions Trophy in England in September. "I will wait for the ICC decision. They are going to check everyone (during the Champions Trophy). They are going to test other players and then they will know the facts." Murali has long held the belief that all the off-spinners of the world do bend their arms to a certain degree while delivering the 'doosra' and it is unavoidable. Tackling Tendulkar Things being what they are, Murali still is looking forward to taking on the Indians and can't help gushing about Sachin Tendulkar. "The pressure he (Tendulkar) gets from the outside is tremendous. I also get the same kind of pressure from outside and I know how tough it is to live with it," he held. "It is tough because you have to perform every day. To control that pressure and still remain number one is very difficult. It is the most remarkable and impossible thing to handle because a billion of people are expecting you to get runs and if he gets 30 or 40 they think he has failed," added the star spinner. Tendulkar has had some outstanding moments against Murali and his lap shots have been particularly effective against the Sri Lankan. "He laps me because he is a good judge of the ball. But then, a batsman has to make just one mistake. I can make more mistakes and can still succeed. So I have more advantage!" Murali does not think it would be fair to compare Tendulkar with West Indian batting genius Brian Lara. "The thing is I haven't played against Tendulkar for a long time. I have not played him for six years and that is almost half of my career. Lara has played more matches against me in these years. I bowled to Sachin in 1994-95 and he was tremendous." "Individually you cannot compare the two batsmen. Both are world class performers," he said on a parting note. (PTI)