Muralitharan: ‘Bhuvneshwar is the best bowler in IPL history’

Muttiah Muralitharan feels that Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a very big prospect for India in any conditions.

Away from the IPL, Muttiah Muralitharan admitted he was surprised by Ravindra Jadeja's splendid recent performances with the ball in Test cricket.   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

The Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan has hailed Bhuvneshwar Kumar as the best bowler in the history of the IPL. The medium-pacer was the most successful bowler in the IPL last year with 23 wickets and is top of the charts this season with 16 victims.

“He bowls two overs in the powerplay and two at the death and his economy rate is so low,” Muralitharan told the media here on Monday. “He's the best bowler in IPL history. I'm not saying this because he's from SRH, but I've been seeing him over the last four-five years. He's so successful. Whatever the team has asked of him, he has delivered.”

He added: “Unfortunately he hasn't played much T20 cricket for India. He will be a very big prospect for India as well; in these conditions or in any conditions. Hopefully people will realize that because he hasn't played much for India.”

But, there was little Bhuvneshwar – or anyone else – could have done against M. S. Dhoni in Pune on Saturday, Muralitharan felt.

“Everyone knows he's the finest finisher in the world. Sometimes it's very hard to bowl yorkers to him because he has a different way of playing. Even the yorkers go for a straight six. That was Dhoni's day. Ten runs went off Bhuvneshwar off very good yorkers – a four and a six. It happens in cricket.”

Nabi, Rashid’s IPL experience will benefit Afghanistan

Muralitharan was speaking at the team hotel on the eve of SRH's meeting with RCB. The Sri Lanka great was impressed with young leg-spinner Rashid Khan, whose presence in the IPL alongside Mohammad Nabi, he felt would benefit the Afghanistan national team.

“Coming from a non-Test side and playing in the biggest T20 tournament in the world... that means there are capable players in their country. The only thing is to get the infrastructure right and support them. We (Sri Lanka) also came through like that in the 1980s. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh too. Even if they (Afghanistan) get Test status, it will take them 10-15 years to make an impact.”

Jadeja’s recent Test performance surprised Murali

Away from the IPL, Muralitharan admitted he was surprised by Ravindra Jadeja's splendid recent performances with the ball in Test cricket.

“The surprise was Jadeja for me, not so much R. Ashwin. Ashwin was so good. But I never thought Jadeja could bowl that well in that series (against Australia) because sometimes he outdid Ashwin. When he was playing ODI and T20 cricket, I thought he was bowling too fast. He mixed his speed a little bit and became a better bowler and took a lot of wickets. Maybe he's learnt how to bowl in these conditions. You can't keep on bowling fast. On a track that is turning very big, you can. But sometimes you have to slow down. And he has done that.”