Kolkata: Paying glowing tributes to Muttiah Muralitharan, who has just retired from Test cricket, former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Friday said he would rate the Sri Lankan a tougher spinner to face than his long-time competitor Australian Shane Warne.
"I don't want to get into comparisons but I would prefer Warne. Murali is more accurate and has more variations so tougher to face," Ganguly told reporters here.
Ganguly termed Muralitharan's Test retirement after his final five-day game against India at Galle as the end of an era.
"(Shane) Warne, (Anil) Kumble had already retired and now (Muttiah) Muralitharan... It is an end of an era," the 38-year-old said.
"His (Murali's ) record will be very hard to beat, he has been a great chapter in Sri Lankan cricket, having reigned supreme for more than 15 years. He is hard to be compared with anybody," he added.
Ganguly felt like other great cricketers of the past, Muralitharan chose to retire when he was at the peak of his career.
"All great players leave when they are at their peak. It's really a nice way to bid goodbye to Test cricket after taking 800 wickets in Tests. (Sunil) Gavaskar, Shane (Warne), Glenn (McGrath) all called it quits in the prime of their respective careers. I am sure when Sachin Tendulkar decides to leave, he too will go on a high," said Ganguly.