Felt Sachin Tendulkar had a small weakness against off-spin: Muttiah Muralitharan

Tags: India, Sri Lanka, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, Muttiah Muralitharan

Published on: Aug 21, 2021

Sri Lanka cricket great Muttiah Muralitharan feels that Sachin Tendulkar had a slight weakness against off-spin bowling. Murali, who remains the leading wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs with 800 and 530+ wickets respectively, dismissed Tendulkar 13 times in his career. Only former Australia pacer Brett Lee dismissed Tendulkar more times - 14. 

Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, Murali said about Sachin that while he was great against leg-spin, he seemed to have trouble playing off-spin. The Lankan legend said, "I felt in my career, Sachin had a small weakness against off-spin. With leg-spin he smashes but off-spin somehow he had the difficulty because I got him out so many times. And lots of off-spinners also got him so many times, I have seen it.

“I don't know, I never spoke to him regarding this, that why 'you aren't comfortable with off-spin.' I felt in my mind he had a little bit of weakness that's why I got a little bit of advantage compared to other players. Sachin is a difficult player, it's very hard to get him out,” he added.

Murali also drew a comparison between Sachin and Virender Sehwag. According to the former spinner, while there was no fear with Sachin since he wouldn’t hurt you, it was the opposite with Sehwag. The Lankan said, "For Sachin, there was no fear to bowl because he won't hurt you. Unlike Sehwag who can hurt you. Because he [Sachin Tendulkar] will protect his wicket, he is a good reader of the ball and he knows the technique.”

The retired off-spinner shared a funny anecdote regarding Sehwag’s 293 during the India vs Sri Lanka Test match at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai in 2009. Muralitharan recalled, “I remember he was batting on 290 against us in Mumbai and I think it was Dravid who told him to hang on as he can get to his 300 the next day. The next morning, he tried to tap it but got out caught and bowled and told me ‘I should have never listened to Rahul and instead gone after you’.”

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