New Delhi, Nov 14: Legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan feels the current Sri Lankan team's chances of winning a Test match in the upcoming series against India are bleak.
The two teams will lock horns with each other in the first of the three-match series in Kolkata on Thursday (November 16). The Islanders haven't registered a Test win on Indian soil in the 17 games they have played here, and the spin great believes the wait could just get longer for the visitors.
In an interview with Cricbuzz, Muralitharan said,"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, who quit Test cricket when India toured the island nation in 2010, played four series in India between but failed to win a Test match for his team.
The bowler, who's the only player to have taken 800 Test wickets, revealed the Indian side of the 2000s had one of the best batting line-ups and it was tough for any side to beat them at home.
"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 Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Laxman and 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.
The 45-year-old felt same was the case with his team when they played against India at home for they too were a formidable batting side.
"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.