No repeat of Indian tactics: Murali - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No repeat of Indian tactics: Murali

By Jim Morton 05/11/2007 07:38:28 PM Comments (0)

Muttiah Muralitharan took a shot at India's aggressive, over-the-top tactics and declared Sri Lanka ready to attack Australia with bat and ball rather than lip and bluster.

The controversial spinner and fellow senior bowler Chaminda Vaas said the tourists would focus on playing smart, positive cricket in the true spirit of the game during their two-Test series, starting Thursday.

Muralitharan, eight Test wickets shy of Shane Warne's world record of 708, told a Brisbane lunch Sri Lanka had no designs on following the path of the ultra-aggressive Indians last month.

The Indians came off second best during their recent seven-match one-day series at home when demonstrative and intimidating antics backfired as Australia took a 4-2 result.

"(We want) to play decent cricket and not (approach it) like the Indians," Muralitharan said at Queensland Cricket's annual Test match luncheon.

"We'd like to play our game.

"The challenge is not to think about the end results."

Recognised by the International Cricket Council as the team who played the game in the best spirit at the ICC's annual awards in September, Sri Lanka have a fine on-field reputation.

Vaas said they would ensure their reputation is retained but wouldn't take a backward step against the world champions.

"We are not Indians. We are not going to play like the Indians did," he said.

"But when it comes to cricket you have to play aggressive cricket, five-day cricket.

"We are here to play good cricket and play smart cricket, and we (received the spirit of the game award) so we want to play good cricket and prove we can do something."

Sri Lanka have registered only one series victory over Australia in 25 years and have never won a Test match here.

Muralitharan isn't wasting time thinking about the prospect of breaking Warne's record and says he's more concerned about proving himself in Australia.

The 35-year-old averages 32.47 for his 67 wickets against Australia in 15 Tests, well down from his career mark of 21.33, but his record here is much worse with eight wickets in three Tests at 63.

On top of that he's been no-balled on two separate visits, suffered verbal crowd abuse and been pelted with fruit as well as hearing Prime Minister John Howard brand him a chucker.

The bowling magician revisited his darkest day, on Boxing Day in 1995 when Darrell Hair no-balled him seven times, and pointed to it as the start of the rocky relationship.

"I had a bad tour in 1995 and I want to forget that," he said.

"That's when it all started.

"I want to prove myself (in Australia) this time and show before I retire I can do something."

Australian crowds have warmed to him since the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and the money-spinning benefit match which followed at the MCG but even the lunch on Monday showed he will certainly cop some taunts at the first Test at the Gabba.

When highlights of his career were shown on the big screen, at least one guest yelled out "no-ball".

Australian opener Matthew Hayden suggested it would be another tough tour for the spinner as none of his teammates harboured any Murali "ghosts".

"We've played him in his conditions and in our conditions, we've seen him across pretty much all parts of the world and I think we've handled him very well," Hayden said.

"Our job is to keep him out of play and I think we've definitely got the skills to do that."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news