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Murali Prepares to Put England in a Spin 

   Michael Vaughan

One look at the record books suggests that England may need more than a little help from the rain gods if they are to avoid becoming just another statistic in the Sri Lankan run of success in Galle.  

This is the stronghold of  the home side for they have only ever lost once there and they have won their last five Tests.   The odds of 11-8 against them represent excellent value because England will do extremely well to hold them.
The wicket there is usually slow and turning and takes even more spin as the game progresses which suits them perfectly.  Normally they just toss Muttiah Muralitharan the ball and he wins them the match.
The outfield is still very wet, but such is the confidence among the home side that they believe they can win it if they don’t lose more than two days to the weather.
Their batting looks stronger than ever and we are lacking somebody who can run through them on this kind of track so if they get a few on the board, we’re going to have the best part of three days to deal with the threat of Murali… and that puts great pressure on our batsmen.  I apologise if I paint a bleak picture, but the current spin king of world cricket is that good.
Statistics show that we have had reasonable success against Murali compared to other countries, but he will wear us down at some stage.   I am sure he will be licking his lips at the prospect of plenty of wickets because we do seem to have a long tail.
The only pitch that might offer us some hope is for the last Test in Colombo.   We will have to be at our best to be still in the Series by the time we get there.
I wish England all the luck in the world, because they are going to need it.


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