PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, March 22, 2007 (AFP) – Whenever Sri Lanka play India, cricket becomes more than just a batsmen’s game as Muttiah Muralitharan, Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble prove there is a room for ace spinners. The two teams clash here on Friday in a crucial World Cup Group B match looking forward to their spinners to deliver in the middle overs, a vital phase in the game when batsmen build up an innings before the closing-overs onslaught.
A spin feast is in the offing as Sri Lanka have a proven match-winner in off-spinner Muralitharan and India have a pair in off-spinner Harbhajan and leg-spinner Kumble.
Muralitharan has been asking more questions than batsmen can answer in Tests and one-dayers ever since he burst on to the international scene in the early 1990s.
He is different in that he does not always rely on pitches to snare his victims, for he can turn the ball hugely on any surface. He also has the accuracy and bounce to make life miserbale for batsmen.
Former Pakistani off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq may have been the first to introduce ‘doosra’ to the game, but Muralitharan was the first to turn it into a devastating weapon.
‘Doosra’ (the second one in Hindi) is a delivery that tu