Murali backs Hauritz to fire for Aussies in Ashes

Sydney: Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralidaran believes that his Australian counterpart Nathan Hauritz can bounce back from his disastrous tour of India to bowl his team to an Ashes victory.

Hauritz was ineffective against Indian batsmen in the Tests, averaging 65 for his six wickets. He also went wicketless in Australia’s five-wicket defeat in the second ODI in Visakhapatnam.

Muralidaran defended Hauritz’s disappointing returns saying that India is an extremely difficult place to bowl spin.

“I think he has done well on the recent Indian tour, it’s a hard place to get figures there, (especially) for a spinner because the Indians play spin so well. But you can’t just let him go because of one or two matches,” Fox Sports quoted Muralidaran, as saying.

“You have to give him another opportunity and see. The Ashes is a big thing for Australia and you need your best starting XI, so if he doesn’t make it that’s up to the selectors.”

“He’s a good bowler and proven in the past he can take wickets. The mentality [between Sri Lanka and Australia] is different because we go with spin most of the time, and Australia go with fast bowlers, so it really is up to selectors,” he added.

While all eyes are on the Ashes, Muralidaran and the Sri Lankans are not treating their ODI series as a support act.

Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara said that Australia were always tough to beat on home soil and expected “nothing less than playing the best in the world”.