Record-smashing Murali reveals secret of his success
CRICKET:Feb 7, 2009; - History-making Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah
Muralitharan says mental toughness and hard work are the keys to success
in international cricket.
"It's not all that sweet. It's not easy to go on for such a long time
because you have your ups and downs," said Muralitharan, 36, after
becoming the highest wicket-taker in one-day internationals with 503.
"The main point is how strong you are and how you make a comeback."
The Sri Lankan spinner completed a record bowling double here on
Thursday when he dismissed Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir in his 10th and
last over in the fourth match here, surpassing former Pakistan paceman
Wasim Akram's one-day mark of 502.
He also holds the record in Test cricket with 769 wickets.
Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar is the only other player to hold two
major world records - highest scorer in Tests (12,429) and one-dayers
"It (the record double) is a great achievement because the only other
person to have achieved the feat is Tendulkar, so playing for Sri Lanka
and achieving this feat is great for me and the country," said
Muralitharan late Thursday.
"Everybody wants to perform well in both forms of the game, so
holding records in both forms of the game means I've done really well
for a long period. You have to be physically and mentally fit."
Muralitharan, who made his Test debut in 1992 and played his first
one-dayer the following year, said there was more competition for the
Test bowling mark.
"Three bowlers were in contention for Test record - Shane Warne, Anil
Kumble and myself. They were a little bit older than me. I thought they
would retire before me and then I would have a chance of overcoming
them," he said.
"That's what happened. I didn't think much about the one-day record
as no-one was closer to it. The nearest among playing cricketers was
(compatriot) Chaminda Vaas (400 wickets), so I thought it could be
When asked why the celebrations in the middle were muted after he had
reached the landmark, the spinner said winning was always more important
"It's not all about breaking records. It's all about winning matches
and series. Unfortunately, it (the record) happened in a lost series and
we also lost the match," said Muralitharan.
India had already gained a winning a 3-0 lead in the five-match
series before Muralitharan's record and then won the fourth match by 67
The Sri Lankan said he planned to play international cricket until
the 2011 World Cup, to be held in the sub-continent.
"It (cricket) is the only thing I know, so I want to play as much as
I can. I am thinking about playing till the next World Cup. There will
be nothing more to achieve after that," he said.
Muralitharan admitted Mahendra Singh Dhoni's India had played better
cricket in the ongoing series, saying confidence was the key to their
"Their confidence was high after beating England 5-0 (at home last
year) and their batsmen played well here also," said Muralitharan, who
could grab just three wickets in four matches against the tourists.
"There is a period when all the batsmen are set and getting runs.
Then they are not scared of getting out. The batsmen struggle only when
the confidence is low. At the moment their confidence is very high.
"It's all about confidence in this game."