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“Warne did not have the variety that Murali did”: When Mahela Jayawardene expressed his views on Shane Warne & Muttiah Muralitharan debate

Rishikesh Sharma
|Thu Mar 03 2022


The rivalry of Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan still does rounds amongst the cricket fans and Mahela Jayawardene had his say on the same.

Shane Warne is arguably one of the greatest players to ever play the game. He was the first bowler in the world to claim 700 test wickets. He ended his career with 708 test wickets, whereas he has 293 ODI wickets under his belt. Warne also bowled the “Ball of the Century” in the 1993 Ashes.

Apart from his on-field records, Warne has had a lot of controversies throughout his career. He failed the drug test ahead of the 2003 World Cup. Warne even passed on the critical information to a bookmaker about the game. He has also been in a rift with Muttiah Muralitharan, Arjuna Ranatunga and Steve Waugh.  Despite all the off-field controversies, Warne is hugely admired in the cricketing circuit.

Mahela Jayawardene picks Muttiah Muralitharan over Shane Warne

The debate between Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan is still going on. Both of them ruled their era and made the batters dance on their bowling. Muralitharan finished with 800 test wickets, whereas Warne ended with 708. The action of Muralitharan was in doubt a lot of times, and he missed quite a few years because of it.

Shane Warne continuously used to take a dig at Muralitharan’s action, and they also had a spat in between. In 2020, Mahela Jayawardene gave an interview to ESPNCricinfo, where he expressed his opinion on the debate.

Mahela Jayawardene said that Shane Warne lacked the variations in comparison to Muttiah Muralitharan. According to Mahela, Warne was a tactical bowler, whereas Muralitharan had the variety to irritate the batters and get them out.

“Murali was a champion bowler, he went about his game differently to others. Warne did not have the variety that Murali did. Murali knew what he was doing and believed in grinding a batsman down. If he had to wait for ten overs to get a batsman out, he will do that,” Jayawardene said in a videocast hosted by ESPNCricinfo.

Mahela Jayawardene was one of the most decorated Sri Lankan batters. He played the final of the 2007 and 2011 World Cup, whereas he won the 2014 T20 World Cup. He is currently the head coach of IPL side Mumbai Indians.


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