Muralitharan to put barren start in India behind him
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Tuesday 24 November 2009
Having been on the receiving end of close to 1500 runs in last week's first Test, it is little wonder the captains of both India and Sri Lanka have leapt to the defence of their beleaguered – and weary – bowlers ahead of today's second game in Kanpur.
Attention has been focussed on the poor form of each side's spinners, particularly India's Amit Mishra and, notably, Muttiah Muralitharan, who went wicketless through 38 finger-shredding second-innings overs in Ahmedabad as the home side held out for a draw.
"It was pretty tough work for the bowlers," said Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India's captain. "I am satisfied with our spinners. The greatest bowler Muralitharan, was in the opposition, bowling on a fifth-day pitch and even he produced no results."
Muralitharan stands 14 short of becoming the first man to take 800 Test wickets, but India has rarely proved a happy hunting ground for the great man. He averages 42.58 from his nine Tests there, which is close to double his career average. In India, the 37-year-old takes a wicket every 86 balls compared to one every 55 throughout the course of his 130 Tests. "I don't see him as struggling," responded Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara. "He is finding himself in a new way in the series. When you got a legend in your side you got to depend on him but there will always be expectations."
Australia play their first Test since losing the Ashes against West Indies in Brisbane on Thursday. Mitchell Johnson, who arrived in England as one of the tourists' key match-winners, has revealed how he struggled mentally to cope with the pressure, particularly in the second Test at Lord's before which his mother and girlfriend bizarrely exchanged insults via the media.
"I guess it started off with the personal side of things," said Johnson. "That probably really did get to me. I was denying it at the time, and copping it from the crowd didn't help. It was just the Ashes: the whole hype of it and the personal things that came out. It was mostly through Lord's where I felt that pressure."
Diego Costa injury: Chelsea striker a doubt for Everton match due to muscle injury
Mario Balotelli posts hilarious Beatles picture on Instagram as he awaits Liverpool debut
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger says he will be 'actively involved' on deadline day... but may not buy a striker despite Giroud injury
Arsenal vs Besiktas player ratings: Alexis Sanchez? Jack Wilshere? Mesut Ozil? Who was the star man at the Emirates Stadium?
Champions League draw: Liverpool meet Real Madrid, but should they fear facing the reigning champions?
- 1 Ashya King missing: Police hunt five-year-old boy with brain tumour snatched from Southampton hospital by his parents
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
- 5 Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage