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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 November, 2003, 14:22 GMT
Sri Lanka profiles
Right-arm off-break bowler; right-hand batsman

M Muralitharan
DOB: 17.7.72
Test debut: v Australia, Colombo (Khettarama), 1992
ODI debut: v India, Colombo (Khettarama), 1993

Probably the best off-break bowler cricket has ever seen, Murali is also currently the number one rated Test bowler at the time of writing.

He has soared past the 450-wicket mark, and with plenty of years left on his clock is likely to post a record that could stand for a very long time to beat.

However well he has bowled to all teams in recent years however, England - and in particular their top-order left-handers - have found a way to eliminate the threat caused by his prodigiously-spun deliveries.

That said, he is beginning to perfect the 'doosra' - the one that goes straight on - and it will be interesting to see how Trescothick and Thorpe cope with that one.

But if anything in cricket is more entertaining than watching Murali bowl it is watching him bat - he has a remarkable technique and very occasionally can score a few runs quite quickly.

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