Colombo: Record-holding Sri Lankan bowler Muttiah Muralitharan on Wednesday urged young Australian players to aspire to bowl spin like their counterparts in the Indian sub-continent.
"They (Australians) have to change their mindset. In Sri Lanka, every kid wants to bowl spin. It's the same in the sub-continent. Younger Australians must also mentally want to do that, like they focus on fast bowling," he said.
Muralitharan, the world's leading wicket-taker in both Tests (800) and one-dayers (519), is due to spend several weeks at Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence for intensive training with the nation’s rising spinners.
The dates for the programme have not been finalised, but it will take place after the Indian Premier League ends in May.
Muralitharan, 38, said Australian wickets favoured pacemen and conditions are challenging for aspiring spinners.
"They (Australia) need to train younger bowlers to bowl more spin," he said.
"I feel more programmes for spinners in cricket academies and perhaps at the state-level will nurture interest among younger players. Let’s see how I can help them get there."
In addition to coaching, Muralitharan's technique will also be recorded and downloaded into the Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence "virtual bowler" machine.
This would allow batsmen to square-off against cyber-Murali in the nets, Australia’s Daily Telegraph newspaper said on Tuesday.
"It is not just Murali’s obvious physical skill that will be a huge benefit for our young spinners," Australian selector Greg Chappell said.
"It is also his physical toughness, his cleverness, his cunning and his ability to be able to set a batsman up and bowl 10-15 overs to a plan."
Muralitharan, who retired from Tests last year, will quit one-day cricket after the World Cup, which starts with India playing Bangladesh in Dhaka on February 19.