Jadeja took me by surprise: Muralitharan

Jadeja took me by surprise: Muralitharan
Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan, on Monday lavished praise on Jadeja, currently the No. 1 Test bowler,  terming him as an "improved bowler who has learnt the art of doing well".

“The surprise for me was Jadeja and not so much Ashwin. I never thought Jadeja could bowl so well in that series and  sometimes he outdid Ashwin,” said Muralitharan, who is currently the bowling coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad.

“We all expected the spinners to do well. Because on spinning wickets, you can't expect the fast bowlers to dominate. Australia, England or even New Zealand... They're not great players against spin and they have always struggled,” said the former Sri Lankan off-spinner.

“The surprise for me was Jadeja and not so much Ashwin. Ashwin was also good. But I never thought Jadeja could bowl so well in that series and  sometimes he outdid Ashwin,” said Muralitharan, who is currently the bowling coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The Indian spin combination of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja had ruled the home season, which had 13 Test matches, with stupendous consistency.  The duo played a pivotal role by bagging 46 wickets between them in India’s 2-1 victory against Australia in the four-match Border Gavaskar Trophy that concluded last month.

Jadeja, currently the No. 1 Test bowler, pipped Ashwin (21 wickets) to finish as the highest wicket-taker of the series with 25 scalps from four games at an average of 18.56.  The left-arm spinner bagged two five-wicket hauls with a best bowling figure of 6 for 63 which he achieved in the first innings of the second Test in Bengaluru.

“When he was playing one-day internationals and T20 cricket, I thought he was bowling too fast. He has now mixed his speed a little bit which has helped him to become a better bowler and take a lot of wickets. Maybe he has learnt how to bowl in these conditions. You can't keep bowling fast. On a track that is turning very big, you can bowl fast. But sometimes you have to slow down. And he has done that,” he offered.

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