Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia have appointed legendary Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan as their spin consultant for their upcoming tour of the United Arab Emirates, where they will play Pakistan in October.
Muralitharan has already started working with spinner Nathan Lyon and will also play a big role in helping the batsmen combat the doosra, which is one of the most lethal deliveries in Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal’s arsenal.
“I’m very much excited; I know the Australian team is a very good side, but hopefully I can have a little bit of input to help them do well in the series against Pakistan,” Muralitharan said. “Those conditions might help spinners and I know a few tricks that might help them on what to do as I have played a lot of matches in those conditions in the UAE and hopefully I can help them a little bit.
“[Saeed] Ajmal is a difficult customer for all the best batsmen in the world, but he bowls a little bit similar to me so perhaps if I can bowl to the Australian batsman it might help a little bit and give them some tips. Nathan Lyon has been bowling brilliantly but hopefully I can help him a little bit on how to bowl in these subcontinent conditions, on how to use the conditions and how to setup the field; I have bowled to most of the Pakistani batsman in the past so hopefully I can help a bit.”
Australia head coach Darren Lehmann was pleased to welcome Muralitharan aboard and believes that the Sri Lankan great will ensure the national team are fully prepared for their tour in October.
“Muttiah Muralitharan is a true great of the game and his involvement with the Australian team will bring enormous benefits,” Lehmann said. “He really understands the conditions we’ll face and will be able to impart a great amount of knowledge. Not only will he help guide our spinners during that tour, but he will also work with our batsmen to help them prepare to play Pakistan’s dangerous spin bowlers.
“As we’ve shown in recent times we’ll bring in dedicated skill-specific coaching consultants to our support staff as and when we see fit. That means having more regular support from technical experts to help work on specific areas of performance.
“Most recently we had Shane Warne join us in South Africa, and throughout the Australian summer we had a range of former Australian players around the team during the Test series to help impart specialist knowledge. This time around we are fortunate enough to have Muttiah work with us.”