ST JOHN’S, Antigua, April 3, 2007 (AFP) – Kevin Pietersen may have once disdainfully reverse-swept Muttiah Muralitharan for six but that hasn’t lessened the England batsman’s respect for the Sri Lankan spin wizard.
“Against Sri Lanka or Australia you cannot slip up for five or 10 overs in the one-day game, you’ve got to nail the full 100 overs.” The South Africa-born strokeplayer’s extraordinary shot during the course of a century in last year’s Edgbaston Test will live long in the memory of all who saw it.
Now England will hope for similar heroics when they face Sri Lanka in a World Cup Super Eights match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium here Wednesday.
“It’s just a case of watching the ball, trying to pick him and trying to hit your areas when you’re facing Murali because he’s a special bowler,” said Pietersen, now rated the world’s leading one-day international batsman.
“Murali doesn’t say a lot, he just winds you up and winds you up because he knows he’s going to get you out. He just smiles and laughs.
“He’s a really happy guy, a nice guy – I call him the silent assassin – he has so much talk on the cricket ball he doesn’t have to say much.”
And Pietersen, 26, said the off-s