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12-03-2012, 03:29 PM #1
Muralitharan plays down Warne ´hype´
Melbourne Renegades spinner Muttiah Muralitharan said he intends to 'strangle' opposition teams in the second season of the Big Bash League.
Having just arrived in Melbourne on Friday, Muralitharan still looked a little jet-lagged fronting up at the Renegades' season launch on Monday morning.
Although they are perceived as the underdog side in Melbourne when compared to the Shane Warne-led Melbourne Stars, Muralitharan is confident the Renegades can surprise many this season in the Twenty20 competition.
And they will get their first chance to do so when they open campaign with the Melbourne derby at Etihad Stadium on Friday, although Muralitharan was adamant this encounter was more than just a battle between himself and his spin adversary Warne.
"It will be a big hype I think," Muralitharan, 40, said.
"We're both retired cricketers and I'm still playing a little bit of Twenty20 stuff, so it will be a big hype and it will be a great contest, (but) not between us, between both the teams.
"I'm here to perform for the Renegades and do something for them. That's why I'm here.
"My aim is to just try and do well in the match, give 200 percent and try as hard as I can, so that's why I'm here.
"In T20 cricket all over the world, they use the spin in the middle overs and try to strangle teams," Muralitharan added when asked about his plans for the Stars.
"It's a key thing, because people (batsmen) try to do so many things but still I think, the middle overs, how much you contain the batsmen and try to take a few wickets and I think you can win a game.
"We've got some good spinners, so if we can do the job then I think it will be easy for our batsmen to get through.
Muralitharan has also had spells with the Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore, as well as Gloucester and the Wellington Firebirds in New Zealand in his T20 career.
But being one of a growing number of specialist T20 guns for hire does not faze the veteran spinner.
"If you play a lot of international cricket, you know 90 percent of the players," he said when asked whether it was still hard coming into a new group of players for just a few games.
"It is about how you go and interact with them and how you get used to their culture that is more important.
"(You) do your job and try to be as friendly as possible, so then it's easy for them and easy for me as well.
"So that sort of (T20 cricket) culture is built now because of the IPL so the players are getting used to it, so wherever they go, they try to do their job and try to be like a professional."