Muttiah Muralitharan reckons IPL franchises should look at Sri Lankan leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga as a potential option for their teams at auction next year in 2022.
However, Muttiah Muralitharan added in the same breath that it would be tough for Wanindu Hasaranga to get game time in the IPL as most franchises prefer to pick local Indian spinners. Nevertheless, the Sri Lankan legend is confident that the 23-year-old will get a ‘launch’ at the IPL.
Muttiah Muralitharan: IPL Franchises Should Look At Wanindu Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga has been a standout bowler for the hosts Sri Lanka in the ongoing limited-overs series against India. In the first T20I, the leg spinner returned with figures of 2-28, helping Sri Lanka restrict the visitors to 164. However, India won the game by 38 runs in the end.
Despite Sri Lanka’s struggles, Wanindu Hasaranga has stood tall, and former off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan believes he can become a regular at the IPL if he gets the opportunity.
Muralitharan said in a chat on ESPNCricinfo: “IPL franchise should look at him. But the problem is if it’s a local players, he walks into the side. But if it’s a foreign player, you have to see which franchise wants a foregn spinner.”
“Its a tricky thing. They will buy him but playing him is something which will not be easy for a franchise. Because some franchise look mostly at Indian spinners rather than foreign spinners. He will get a launch and if he gets a game or two and performs, then he will be a regular player.”
Even in the two ODI games against India at the same venue, Wanindu Hasaranga had an economy of 4.32 while picking up three wickets. The spinner missed the final ODI game due to an injury.
Wanindu Hasaranga Debuted In ODIs In 2017 Against Zimbabwe And Became 3rd Debutant In ODIs To Claim A Hat Trick
A bruising lower-middle order batsman, and an aggressive leg-break bowler, Wanidu Hasaranga was chosen in Sri Lanka’s squad for the first two one-dayers against Zimbabwe in June 2017, with his fielding also cited as a reason for his selection. And what a debut it subsequently was; he became the third debutant in ODI history to claim a hat-trick when he wiped out Zimbabwe’s tail with the 14th, 15th, and 16th deliveries of his international career.
Wanindu Hasaranga has played 4 Tests, 26 ODIs, and 20 T20Is picking 4, 25, and 28 scalps respectively averaging 38.08 in ODIs and an impressive 15.64 in T20Is.
In T20Is, he debuted against New Zealand in 2019 and played extremely well against and in Pakistan in 2019 picking 8 scalps bowling 12 overs averaging 9.88 with the ball. He also did well against West Indies in 2021 picking up 8 scalps averaging a mere 5.25.