Muttiah Muralitharan has asserted that Sachin Tendulkar had a difficulty against off-spin and that he had dismissed him countless times during his playing days. The legendary bowler went on to add that several other off-spinners also used to get the better of Tendulkar.
Sachin Tendulkar and Muttiah Muralitharan are considered as two of the biggest names in cricket history. Muralitharan is the only bowler in history to take 800 Test wickets, whereas Sachin is the only batsmen to score 100 international centuries.
In a recent conversation with former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra, Muralitharan shed light on Tendulkar’s playing style and difficulty against spin bowling. He also went on to explain how Sachin’s difficulty against off-spin proved to be an advantage that worked in his favour.
“I felt in my career, Sachin had a small weakness against off-spin. With leg-spin he smashes but off-spin somehow he had the difficulty because I got him out so many times. And lots of off-spinners also got him so many times, I have seen it,’’ said Muralitharan on ESPNCricinfo with Aakash Chopra.
"I don't know, I never spoke to him regarding this, that's why 'you aren't comfortable with off-spin.' I felt in my mind he had a little bit of weakness that's why I got a little bit of advantage compared to other players. Sachin is a difficult player, it's very hard to get him out."
The former Sri Lanka off-spinner then asserted that he wasn't scared to bowl to Sachin, as he was a good reader of the ball and would always prioritise protecting his wicket, unlike other players. He also talked about Virender Sehwag and mentioned how he would play more aggressively, and that this would instil fear in the minds of bowlers.
"For Sachin, there was no fear to bowl because he won't hurt you. Unlike Sehwag who can hurt you. Because he (Sachin) will protect his wicket, he is a good reader of the ball and he knows the technique.
"Sehwag is so dangerous, for him we put deep fielders because I know he would go for his chance. He would go for his instincts and he knows 'On my day I will attack anyone I want'," added Muralitharan before signing off.
Notably, Muralitharan dismissed Tendulkar eight times in Tests, most after Anderson (9), and five times in ODIs.