Friday, December 14, 2007

Warne v Murali

(This is an edited - and more precisely calculated - version of the posting below which was published as a letter in The Wisden Cricketer January 2008, page 10.)

Murali is the better bowler, just look at the statistics.

Warne never bowled against the best batting side in the world - Australia - so the two bowlers can be compared only in terms of their perfomances against the second ranked Test sides.

These have, in recent years, been England and South Africa, followed by India and Pakistan. If you look at average and wickets per match, Murali's perfomances against England, South Africa and India are significantly better than Warne's. Warne edges it against Pakistan. Here are the numbers from before the Sri Lanka-England series.

v England: Murali 7.15 wickets per match @ 19.74; Warne 5.41 wickets per match @ 23.25; v South Africa: Murali 6.93 wickets per match @ 22.22; Warne 5.42 wickets per match @ 24.16; v India Murali 4.47 wickets per match @ 32.47; Warne 3.07 wickets per match @ 47.18; v Pakistan: Murali 5.64 wickets per match @ 23.31; Warne 6.00 wickets per match @ 20.17.

Bruce G Charlton

Newcastle upon Tyne