Spinners to play bigger role in T20 World Cup, Muttiah Muralitharan says

Muralitharan is held aloft following Sri Lankas semi-final win against New Zealand. — Reuters/File
Muralitharan is held aloft following Sri Lanka’s semi-final win against New Zealand. — Reuters/File

KARACHI: Sri Lankan cricket legend Muttiah Muralitharan feels that spinners will have a bigger role during the ICC T20 in UAE and Oman, slated to begin on October 17.

In a column provided by ICC, the former Sri Lanka cricketer said there will be no clear favourites in the event.

“I have been out in the UAE and looking at the wickets and it is clear that the spinners are going to have a huge role to play in the World Cup. It will depend a lot on how the curators have prepared the wickets, but it looks like the spinners will be key as the batters were finding it hard to connect and it made for some low scoring,” he said.

The legendary spinner said he was “obviously delighted” to see the importance that spinners have taken on in T20 cricket.

“Initially, most people thought that the spinners would be the victims of T20 cricket and that the batters would go after them. But it is clear now that the slower you bowl, the more difficult it is to hit. The spinners have become the most important bowlers and even the quicks now have to bowl slower balls and other deliveries,” he highlighted.

He added that the most exciting thing about the T20 World Cup 2021 is there are no clear favourites.

“Any one of a large number of teams could end up lifting the trophy,” he said.

“The crucial factor will be the first six overs. That is what teams need to focus on, whether they are batting or bowling. I think that 70% to 80% of the game depends on those first six overs and the result comes down to how well you do in that period. If you don’t get it right at the start, there is so little time to catch up. It’s not like a one-day game or a Test match. Everything comes down to getting a good start,” the former Sri Lankan spinner underscored.

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