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    September 07, 2005

    Michael Parkinson's unwarranted dig at Murali

    While writing about Warne's greatness, Michael Parkinson Myarseisintheparkinglot took a pot-shot at Murali.
    In any sensible reckoning of sporting achievement he belongs in the most select company along with the aforesaid Ali, Jack Nicklaus, Pele and, dare I say it, Don Bradman. Warne has redefined the art of spin bowling every bit as much as Bradman demonstrated his mastery of batting.

    The argument that Warne's reputation must be judged alongside another spin bowler who closely pursues him in the averages is not one I have any time for. In my view, Muchichuckalot will be remembered as the bowler who enforced a change in the rules to accommodate his - how shall we describe it - controversial action.

    While the question of whether Murali chucks or not is a matter for debate, I think Michael Parkinson's act of bringing in Murali into the picture, merely to reinforce his strong belief that he chucks, as reflected in the nickname he uses, was a rather shameful and cheap attack. Parkinson obviously is demeaning Murali's name when he calls him 'Muchichuckalot'. The fact that he can't pronounce 'Muralitharan' with his rolled tongue to save his life doesn't give him the right to tamper with it.

    I don't think there're too many people who question Warne's greatness. But should Warne be considered great at the cost of rubbishing Murali's achievements? I think not!

    Despite his various well chronicled off-field antics and the odd stupid comment, there is absolutely no way you can question the man's talent and ability to perform when it counts. This has been made amply evident in the last three months.

    Just sticking to test cricket, while Murali's statistics certainly are comparable with Warne, he will always be ranked lower, perhaps even by those who do not care about his bowling action, because of his feasting on Bangladesh and Zimbabwe more often than Warne has. Remove the wickets he has taken against those two teams and Murali's bowling average goes up to 24.1 and the strike rate increases to nearly 60. While it is obviously not his fault that Sri Lanka play those two teams or that the batsmen in those two teams are so hopeless, overall Murali also averages nearly 7 less at home than he does away and his strike rate goes up by nearly an over when he is playing overseas. In Warne's case, he has only played Zimbabwe once and never against Bangladesh. Warne's difference between home and away numbers is very miniscule, if anything, he performs better outside Australia!

    So even the stats do imply that Warne is a far better bowler than Murali, regardless of whether Murali is a chucker or not! But why worry about all this when we can find out in the October face-off in the Super Series.

    Previous stuff on chucking: ICC's announcement, Murali and his doosra, results of the ICC study, doosra dangers, Murali and the World side, Shoaib Malik cleared? and Harbhajan cleared!

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 5:30 PM |
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    4 sledge(s):

    Parkinson is what we call in England an old fart. I will never forget or forgive him for slagging off Steve Wonder on the radio one day. I also find his olde England articles about northern football and cricket in the 1950´s irritating. Criticising Murali, who is not as great as Warne, but undoubtably a great bowler is par for the course. Have you ever seen his interview with Ali in the 70´s? He nearly got killed.

    By Anonymous Chris (07-Sep-2005, 7:40:00 PM)  

    Parkinson is only saying what many other people believe.

    Simply put under the rules that were in force during most of Muralis' career he was bowling with an illegal action.

    That these rules have now been changed for no other reason than to accommodate his action is a farce.

    His doosera is still deemed illegal!

    The main reason why I and probably Michael Parkinson object to this is that in 20 years time when both have retired Murali because of his relative youth, and his strike rate, will be seen by statisticians as the greatest wicket taker in test cricket. A feat he would never have achieved had he been forced to remediate his action years ago when it was first called into question.

    By Anonymous Joe (07-Sep-2005, 10:17:00 PM)  

    we should compare their record with the best players of the spin aka India. Muralis record against India is far better then Warnes. Only the last series then he managed to take 5 wkts. Murali has always threatened Indian batsmen.

    By Anonymous Anonymous (08-Sep-2005, 1:45:00 PM)  

    Even as I write this, Warne's giving a masterclass in spin bowling, knocking over three English batsmen in the final Ashes Test.
    Anonymous, I disagree that Indians are the best players of spin. Most of our batsmen are vulnerable against good quality spin bowling. Except for the famous demolition job on Warney, we have consistently struggled against good tweakers.

    By Blogger Ashok (08-Sep-2005, 5:02:00 PM)  

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