Murali will make it before Shane: Ponting

Published: Wednesday, April 7, 2004, 20:20 [IST]
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Mumbai:Australian skipper and one of the most explosive batsman in the world, Ricky Ponting said on Wednesday that Sri Lankan offie Muthiah Muralitharan may get to the world record of 519 Test wickets even before Aussie leggie Shane Warne, who is two short of it.

"Personally I feel Murali, the most difficult spinner to get away, has a very good chance of getting past Shane (Warne) as the Sri Lankans would be touring Zimbabwe soon," Ponting said in Mumbai.

"Shane is just two wickets away from the record 519 Test victims by West Indian fast bowler Courtney Walsh, but will figure in a Test match only in September, when the Aussies tour India, while Murali, who had 513 Test victims at the end of the three-match Test series against us, will be playing in two Tests much earlier and has a very good chance of over taking Walsh," he added.

"It might sound a bit unfair as Shane bowled magnificently against the Lankans during his comeback series but that is life," Ponting said.

"Moreover, Murali is much younger than Shane and might be around for more number of years which is again a big advantage," he added.

When asked whether India was catching up with Australia after their recent good showing, Ponting, replied in the negative.

"No doubt India is a much improved team but they still have a long way to go. By no means they are closing the gap on us as they are playing well against other teams and not against us. Records show that they managed to win just two games when they toured Australia recently," he opined.

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