"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 said in an interview with Cricbuzz.
"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," Muralitharan recalled.
But Murali was quick to point out that, Sri Lanka in the 2000s was equally dominant at home, beating India in Tests on quite a few occasions.
"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.
In 2007, in a Test match at Ahemdabad, Lanka side had come close to winning a match against India, where they took a first innings lead of 300 runs. But then they could not bowl India out in the remaining overs.
"We had our chances. We were very close, but that's how things happen in Test cricket," Muralitharan went onto add.
First Published: November 14, 2017, 6:01 PM IST