Legendary off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has hailed Bangladesh’s senior cricketer Shakib Al Hasan as one of the best all-rounders, before stating he has developed into a ‘good’ spinner in the past few years.
In an interview with Dhaka Tribune, Muralitharan also talked about the ongoing Sri Lanka-Bangladesh two-match Test series, Mustafizur Rahman and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Muralitharan spoke after Shakib registered his fifth Test hundred on Day 3 of the second and the final Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo to help his side to a fighting total of 476 runs.
“I think he (Shakib) is a very good all-rounder. As a spinner, he is definitely good. But as an all-rounder, I think he is one of the best,” Muralitharan was quoted as saying by Dhaka Tribune.
Since making his debut against Zimbabwe in 2006, Shakib has played 166 ODIs, 57 Twenty20 Internationals and 48 Tests for Bangladesh. He has amassed 9,157 runs across all three formats while being a lynchpin for the Tigers.
The Kandy-born Muralitharan, who played 133 Tests, also praised the young Bangladesh bowling sensation Mustafizur Rahman, saying he is a quick learner of the game.
The 21-year-old Mustafizur was mentored by Muralitharan during the ninth edition of lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL), when he was a part of the defending Champions Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
“Mustafizur is brilliant, not only for Bangladesh, but also for SRH last season. I feel if he is nurtured, he can certainly have a long career ahead of him,” Muralitharan said on Rahman.
While speaking on the ongoing Test series, Muralitharan said Bangladesh struggled in the Galle Test but have shown remarkable performance so far in the ongoing second Test, which is also their 100th overall Test after being given the Test status in 2000.
“Bangladesh did not play well in the first Test. But Sri Lanka played really well. But in this Test (second Test) Bangladesh are playing really good and giving a tough fight to Sri Lanka,” Muralitharan remarked.
On the other hand, Muralitharan praised India’s Ravichandran Ashwin, saying he’s currently one of the best at the moment.
“I think Ravichandran Ashwin is bowling really well at the moment. He is very good,” Muralitharan concluded.
The 44-year-old Muralitharan bagged 800 Test and 534 ODI wickets during his 20-year illustrious career.