The most successful bowler in cricket is three wickets away from toppling Wasim Akram from the top of the ODI charts. The five-match one-day series will surely see that milestone and Sri Lanka is waiting. Muttiah Muralitharan, the man himself, seemed unfazed.
A livewire at the nets he is also one of the most vibrant and cheerful and teammates feel seniors like him lift the dressing room. Skipper Mahela Jayawardene was lost for words when asked about the real emerald of the Emerald Island.
“It’s very difficult to put it in words. It’s an immense amount of hard work the guy has put in over the last 16 years. He went through a lot of hardships but in a few games time, it could be even tomorrow, he will hold the world record of most wickets in both Tests and one-days. That’s an amazing effort for a guy who started as a fast bowler and then changed to bowling off-spin. Now he is challenging me to put him up in the batting order after his heroics against Bangladesh. That’s Murali for you,” he said and then went on and on.
“We are all going to be very happy once he gets to the mark. It’s another milestone for him and for Sri Lankan cricket. It could not have happened to a better person.
“It’s pure hard work. The guy does not bowl in sessions at the nets, he bowls throughout it if he can. His commitment and willingness to win matches, compete against the best are things one has to just admire,” he said.
MS Dhoni said, “If you see his career graph it’s sheer consistency. He is a champion bowler. We all know he will reach the milestone during this series, but hopefully we will be able to prolong his wait.”