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After missing mark on Warne's turf, Muralitharan expected to set world record at home

After missing mark on Warne's turf, Muralitharan expected to set world record at home

Muttiah Muralitharan will push for a world record on his own home turf next month after failing to set the new bowling mark on Shane Warne's.
The Sri Lankan spin bowler came into this two-test series against Australia needing nine wickets to overhaul retired legspinner Warne's career record of 708.
Warne expects Muralitharan to eventually get 1,000 test wickets, but said he wants to hang onto the record for as long as possible. He might get another few weeks.
Muralitharan picked up four wickets at an average of 100 apiece in two losses to Australia, giving him 704 wickets ahead of next month's three-test series at home against England.
Kumar Sangakkara, who scored 192 Thursday to prolong Sri Lanka's survival in the second test, said the ideal scenario would have been for Muralitharan to set the record in the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy series.
"We've always maintained that, if in the course of the test series, Murali got to 708 that would be fantastic, that would probably be a perfect tour for us," Sangakkara said.
"But our focus was on trying to win the test match here and if we were going to focus entirely on the fact that this is Murali's record I think that would have taken something away from the team's focus.
"Murali understands it, the guys understand it. We've always had an enormous amount of love and respect for Murali just because he's a champion and his efforts help the team."
Since Warne retired in January, it has been a question of when, rather than if, Muralitharan would set a new mark.
Having to wait for the record, "is not the end of the world for Murali," Sangakkara said. "He has got many more years of test cricket to go. He's got three tests against England coming up so the record for him is a given."
Ricky Ponting said one of the biggest aims for his Australian lineup in the series was to ensure Muralitharan didn't break their old teammate's record Down Under.
And the Australian top order dominated the series, with the Sri Lankans only able to take 11 wickets in two matches.
Muralitharan, without much support from the other bowlers, struggled on the flat pitches in Brisbane and Hobart that have never suited his bowling.
While he averages 21.77 for his 704 wickets across 115 test matches, he has only taken 12 wickets at 75 in five tests in Australia.
His averages at home and against England are much better.
Warne, now playing county cricket in England, was impressed that Australia was so resilient against Muralitharan.
"It was nice the Australian boys have allowed me to hold on to the record for an extra week, but it's only a matter of time before Murali gets it," Warne told Australia's News Ltd. newspapers. "Hopefully the England boys make him work hard in Sri Lanka as well."
Australia "played him extremely well in this series, but he will go on and get a 1,000."
Far from perturbed about his lack of success in Australia, the 35-year-old Muralitharan said he would just keep on doing what he does best.
"In Brisbane I thought I bowled well but the batsmen play well. Sometimes it happens," Muralitharan said. "You can't do much else but put it in the right places. Some days it works. That's the way a career goes."


Updated : 2021-10-18 19:16 GMT+08:00