Saluting Murail... The Unassuming Champion
When Fred Trueman became the first man to take 300 Test wickets at The Oval in 1964, he observed with typical drollness that, if anyone outdid him, he’d be “bloody tired”. Having sent down 38,000-odd balls to Trueman’s 15,000-odd, most of them in steamy, strength-sapping conditions, Muttiah Muralitharan had even more reason to prattle on about work ethics and sweat-drenched toil. Heaven knows he’d have been justified, in the heat of the moment, in hailing his historic delivery to Paul Collingwood this morning as the greatest ball of his career, an impeccable fusion of sorcery and sauce. What followed was as unexpected as anything he has ever served up for our delectation. "