It was 2010 and the stage was all set for the legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan to finish his test career on a high note; an 18 year-long journey that broke a number of records, witnessing various accolades and criticisms. The venue was Galle International Stadium, which was brutally damaged by 2004 Tsunami. A renovation work during the beginning of 2005, saw international cricket returning to the venue from 2007. The venue will occupy a special place in the hearts of fans as they witnessed their legend reaching a milestone record of 800 tests wickets.
Before the start of the game, he was just eight wickets short of reaching that landmark. India’s batting order collapse, Malinga’s deathly spells, few run-outs and a rainy weather were not enough to create a spoil sport for the legend’s milestone.Strangely, his first wicket in that contest was his replica in the batting department- Sachin Tendulkar. That LBW dismissal is one such instance in cricket history where the “Highest Wicket taker” of the game dismissed the “Highest Run scorer“.
With Sachin too hanging his boots after the farewell test in his own backyard, this instance is unlikely to happen in future. To witness that contest again, we need to see a batsman score heaps of runs, surpassing Sachin’s numbers. With that in mind, a bowler too has to cross 800 scalps.
A highest wicket taker dismissing a highest run scorer! Will this unique contest happen again? A player’s form and fitness, his ability to play across various conditions, his mental focus, his personal life and retirement are some of the major factors that will answer this question.