Sri Lankan wizard, Muttiah Muralitharan is arguably the greatest spinner ever produced in the game of cricket. With 1347 international wickets to his name across all formats, Murali stands tall as the highest wicket-taker in the sport.
At the cusp of his retirement from the game, Murali managed to achieve the magical milestone of 800 Test wickets.
His feat came during the Galle Test match of India’s tour of Sri Lanka, back in 2010. Former Sri Lankan captain, Kumar Sangakkara earlier revealed how he had to convince Murali to complete his coveted milestone before taking retirement, before the commencement of the series.
Now, India’s test specialist, Ishant Sharma has opened up to his conversation with Murali, when the latter was one wicket shy of achieving his miraculous feat.
Ishant was at the crease with Pragyan Ojha as the last man standing. There, the Delhi pacer recalled how Murali asked for the former’s wicket during a drinks break.
“I didn’t say anything to Pragyan Ojha, I told Ishant Sharma during the water break ‘Ishant, just start playing shots. It’s the last wicket. Despite all this, India is not going to draw or win. Give me your wicket and go. At least I will be satisfied. He didn’t give away his wicket. Luckily, I got the wicket of Pragyan Ojha,” Ishant told Ravichandran Ashwin during an online interaction.
Interestingly, it was Ojha who lost his wicket to Murali and etched himself in the history book as his 800th Test victim.
“Ojha said that he gave away his wicket on purpose, considering Murali’s stature and the landmark. Everybody trolled him in the dressing room. Even if you hadn’t ‘purposely’ thrown your wicket away, Murali would have got you the next ball,” Ishant concluded.
Both Ishant and Ashwin are scheduled to share the same dressing room at the Delhi Capitals’ (DC) camp in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season.