Magical Murali

Veteran spinner's magnificent total will never be surpassed, says Aussie

Last Updated: 22/07/10 4:12pm

  • Share:

Magical Murali

Sky Bet

Shane Warne was full of praise for Muttiah Muralitharan after the Sri Lankan became the first bowler to take 800 Test-match wickets.

"There's so much cricket these days but if you work out the numbers someone will have to play 150 Tests and take five and half wickets a Test match to beat him."
Shane Warne Quotes of the week

The 38-year-old went into the last day of his final Test match needing two victims to rack up the magical total, and accomplished it in dramatic style.

Muralitharan had earlier removed India's Harbhajan Singh to edge tantalisingly close to his target.

But he had to wait until last man Pragyan Ojha was at the crease before he achieved the milestone, forcing the Indian number 11 to edge to the slips with his final delivery in the five-day arena.

That record-breaking total of 800 means the effervescent Sri Lankan leaves the Test match domain 92 wickets ahead of spinning rival Warne.

And the Australian, who retired from the game in 2007, believes Muralitharan's magnificent total will never be broken.

"800 Test wickets is amazing and I don't think it will ever be beaten," Warne told Sky Sports News.

"There's so much cricket these days but if you work out the numbers someone will have to play 150 Tests and take five and half wickets a Test match to beat him.


"The way he's gone about it has been amazing. There's been a lot of controversy about his action but the ICC cleared him, he was allowed to play and what he did with the ball was amazing.

"And to face it was quite difficult, especially in those spinning conditions in Sri Lanka."

"I remember in 1992 in Sri Lanka when Allan Border was facing him. He'd played a lot of Test cricket and was a good player of spin bowling.

"But Murali bowled five balls to him in a row and he played and missed every time. He went to Murali: 'Excuse me mate, what are you bowling? Off breaks or leg breaks?' He didn't know!"


During their playing careers, Muralitharan - who also claimed 22 10-wicket Test match hauls - and Warne were in direct competition to top the bowling records.

But while he was always eager to surpass the little Sri Lankan with the ball in his hand, Warne says he had nothing but respect for the way Muralitharan played the game.

"I suppose we always kept an eye on each other," added the Aussie.

"I admired him from a distance and when we played against each other we tried to outdo each other. It was more about Australia and Sri Lanka but the little battle within the big battle was fun.

"There was a lot to like about Murali. He always had a smile on his face and seemed to be enjoying his cricket.

"And we always used to have a catch up with a coffee or a water and talk about the game."

  • Share:


Murali 800 Milestone

Spin twins: Warne v Murali

Warne v Murali

Murali tops the stats but was Warne the better bowler? Join the Sky Sports debate and pick your winner.

Test farewell: Muralitharan

Murali - Thanks to everyone

Muttiah Muralitharan was grateful to those who had helped him after reaching 800 wickets in his final Test.

Murali: 800 Test wickets

Murali Factfile

Get the lowdown on the life and times of Muttiah Muralitharan after he claimed his 800th Test wicket.

Most Popular


Sidebottom's career highs

Sidebottom's career highs

From hat-trick hero to World T20 triumph, we track Ryan Sidebottom's career after he announced he is to retire at the end of 2017.

Kohli's dream double run

Kohli's dream double run

Virat Kohli has the chance to stretch a truly remarkable scoring run in the upcoming four-Test series against Australia.

India v Australia flashpoints

India v Australia flashpoints

With India and Australia ready to renew their Test rivalry, here are five flashpoints from Tests gone by...