Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Expectations on Murali

Sri Lanka are backing Muttiah Muralitharan to return to form in the third and final test against India starting on Wednesday, the master spinner's last overseas test.

The world record holder for test and one-day international wickets will retire from the Test cricket next year but the Sri Lankans are hoping he can help them record their first test win on Indian soil to square the series 1-1.

The 37-year-old had a rough time in the first two matches, picking up five wickets at a cost of 396 runs on unhelpful pitches.

"Murali is still the lead of our attack and we back him 100 percent to turn it around and win the match for us," Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara told reporters on Tuesday.

"He's still our best spinner and he still might be the best spinner in the world. When you have that quality in the side you have to back that quality, that ability."

Leg-spinner Ajantha Mendis will miss out as Sri Lanka opt for a more balanced attack after playing three specialist spinners in the second-test defeat in Kanpur.

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