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Rohrer takes tips from master Murali

BEN ROHRER may have already conquered master spinner Shane Warne but he is yet to tame another Test great, Muttiah Muralitharan.

The NSW left-hander has traded the familiarity of Sydney and headed to Melbourne with the Renegades where he has joined forces with Test cricket's leading wicket-taker.

Muralitharan's achievements are well known but Rohrer was surprised how much the Sri Lankan wizard knew about his game.

''He knows all our domestic stats. We couldn't believe how much he knew about the guys he was playing with, what they do and that sort of thing,'' said Rohrer, who boasts a respectable first-class average of 41 from 30 games with the bat.

''He must read cricket 24-7 when he's at home. He knew I had been pigeon-holed as … somebody who finishes an innings pretty well and knew I had a good four-day record in NSW.

''I've got to know him really well, he's one of the nicest guys I've ever met. He doesn't have a bad word to say about anyone and will help anyone out who asks for it.''


One of the benefits of playing alongside Muralitharan is the opportunity to face the unorthodox tweaker in the nets at training.

''He's much different, it did take a session or two of facing him to adapt to that different action, now I'm picking him OK,'' Rohrer said.

''He got me out two or three times playing for the wrong one and all the guys here had the same problem.

''Guys in the other teams were also having a few problems with him. He's bowling really well in the games.

''Even guys who have played a lot against him couldn't pick him, like [former England international] Owais Shah.

''I'm still not getting too far ahead of myself and getting out of my crease too often against him. Most of the time, 90 per cent of the time, I'm picking him now.''

Muralitharan has also provided Rohrer with tips against spin, reinforcing the lessons taught to him by NSW's caretaker coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, a former Test opener for Sri Lanka.

''Murali backed up what he said with position at release of the ball and the easiest ways to pick the length,'' Rohrer said. ''Just facing him in the nets three times a week in the nets helps as well too.''

Rohrer is enjoying his time with the Renegades after deciding to leave defending champions Sydney Sixers so he could have more opportunities to bat higher up the order. Scores of 34 not out, 27, 18 and 27 not out have been solid rather than spectacular and though he believes he has not made the most of his chances so far, he is highly regarded by the Renegades as a team man who leads by example.

Rohrer is not expecting a call from national selectors but has nominated for Indian Premier League auction. But even if he finds a buyer, the osteopath still has to clear another hurdle before he can join what he describes as the best Twenty20 competition in the world. ''I've got to get it past my fiancee,'' Rohrer said. ''We're getting married in May, which is bang smack in the middle of the IPL.''