How to Bowl Like Muralitharan

Muttiah Muralitharan is a right-arm off-spinner from Sri Lanka, who continues to play domestic T20 tournaments all around the world but retired from international cricket in 2011. The wily spinner remains the highest wicket-taker in the history of the game with 800 scalps. With 534 victims, Muralitharan also happens to be the leading bowler in the history of One Day International cricket.

The legendary cricketer has a unique bowling action, which is quite different than traditional off-spinners. Most of the off-spinners are finger spinners; however, Muralitharan spins the ball with his wrist, which gives him an edge over others.


  • 1

    Have an athletic body

    Muralitharan has an extremely athletic and flexible body, which allows him to rotate his wrist and elbow while delivering the ball. From the very start, you should work hard on your fitness and regularly do certain drills which enhance your flexibility.

  • 2

    Bowling action

    If you want to imitate the great off-spinner from Sri Lanka, you need to develop a smooth side-on bowling action. While delivering the ball, all your weight should be on your front toe, before you rotate your body in the follow through.

    While trying to bowl like Muralitharan, a youngster can easily develop an illegal bowling action. You need to ensure that your elbow does not bend; otherwise, you will not be allowed to play professional cricket.

  • 3


    Run-up is not something considered to be very important for off-spinners because they generate force behind the ball through their arm and fingers. However, Muralitharan is an exception. He has a bustling run-up, which gives him momentum in the delivery stride. Rather than coming towards the bowling crease in a straight line, Murali runs in from the side.

  • 4


    Murali’s grip is also different than that of an ordinary off-spinner. He had a grip very similar to leg-spinners. Hold the ball across the seam with your middle finger and the index finger, while the thumb giving additional cushion.

    If you wish to bowl like Muralitharan, you must have strong wrists, so that you can put additional revolutions on a ball. In order to spin the ball sharply, Murali rotates his wrist.

  • 5


    Murali, in his early years, used to work extremely hard in the nets. This is the reason why he hardly bowls a bad delivery. You must also try to bowl maximum deliveries every day because only practice can help a spinner bowl more accurately.

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