Aussie crowd abuse spurred my form: Murali

Published: Sunday, September 10, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi: Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan has attributed his recent phenomenal run of form to the abuse that he faced in Australia early this year.

''If there is one thing that maybe has helped me this year it was the experience I had in Australia. It may sound a strange thing to say as it was a very tough tour for me on and off the field, especially with the abuse we received,'' Murali, who claimed 46 victims in his last five Tests against England and South Africa, told bigstarcricket website.

Murali was greeted with chants of 'no-ball' by Australian crowds during the VB series in January. He was first no-balled at Melbourne by umpire Darrell Hair in Sri Lanka's tour of Australia in 1995.

''If you go through difficult times and come out the other side, you become a stronger character for it. That's what happened to me.

I like to think that I am quite strong mentally anyway. But these sort of experiences only make me more determined,'' said the 34-year-old second highest wicket taker in Test cricket.

Murali has had a phenomenal run of form in the past year collecting 108 Test wickets from 15 matches since September last year at an average of 19.37. He has so far taken 657 wickets from 108 matches, 28 adrift from Warne.

''I am in some good form but I wouldn't say it is necessarily the best form of my career. I am just bowling well and have found some good rhythm. For the last year, I have bowled well and I haven't done anything different in these series than at other times. Cricket is like this, wickets can come all at once and at other times you can bowl well and maybe not receive your rewards,'' Murali said.

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