Giving a damning verdict on Sri Lanka’s chances of winning a game in the upcoming Test series against India, former Sri Lanka spin spearhead, Muttiah Muralitharan has said his country’s chances are slim against the number one side in the world.
Stats and form also back Muralitharan’s claims. The Islanders have not managed to win a single game in India in 17 attempts and considering their form this year, Dinesh Chandimal & Co. are not looking likely to achieve the feat which even the likes of Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and other great cricketers failed to deliver. Sri Lanka have been whitewashed this year by South Africa and India in addition to losing their first-ever Test against Bangladesh.
The 2-0 win against Pakistan came as a much-needed morale-booster but India will pose a far stiffer challenge, and Muralitharan is well aware of it.
“Our chances of winning a Test match in India, I would say, are slim. All teams have struggled to compete in India. In the last 13 years only two teams have won a series in India. They are ranked number one in the world at the moment, our Test cricket seems to be doing okay, but we are struggling in shorter formats of the game. This will be a tough series and the characters of our boys will be tested,” Muralitharan told Cricbuzz.
The highest Test wicket-taker toured India four times between 1994 to 2009 but never managed to end up on the winning side of a Test match.
Speaking about that, he said:
“When I played against India, they had the world’s best batting line-up. Their batting was stronger than now I would say. If you take that batting line-up, they had [Virender] Sehwag, [Gautam] Gambhir, [Rahul] Dravid, [Sachin] Tendulkar, [Sourav] Ganguly, [VVS] Laxman and [MS] Dhoni batting from one to seven. Some of them are all-time greats of the sport and it was a tough task for us.
“Similarly, we too were quite strong at home. Despite such a good side, India failed to win a series in Sri Lanka for some 22 years. We have some happy memories having made things tougher for them. It has been a superb rivalry and some closely contested games. That’s what the sport wants. There were some series where all games were drawn. In 1997, we played five Tests, two at home and three away and all games were drawn. Both teams had some quality batsmen,” he added.
Meanwhile, firm favourites India will be looking to extend their winning streak in Tests when they take on Sri Lanka in the first Test, scheduled to start from November 16 at the Eden Gardens. The hosts are yet to lose a Test series under Kohli’s captaincy, and the streak is unlikely to be broken by Sri Lanka.
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