Ace off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan believes that India will start as favourites in the forthcoming three-Test series in Sri Lanka next month.
"They have to start as favourites, because they have done well in Australia. They also performed in a few series before that, like in South Africa; so they will start as favourites. I would like them to start as favourites, because we have to come back and beat them," he told rediff.com in an exclusive interview in Mumbai.
The 'offie' also paid rich tributes to Sachin Tendulkar, who is approaching Brian Lara's world record for most runs in Test cricket.
Muralitharan hailed Tendulkar as a legend and said he deserves every recod that comes his way.
"Everyone knows Sachin is a great player, a legend of cricket. But getting those 171 runs won't be easy, because we will also try to stop him. But he is also a great player and he will, at some time, cross it. That record won't be on his mind because he will try to play and win for India.," said Muralitharan.
"I think he deserves to get the record. It is only 170 and it is not much in six innings, because he is averaging about 58 in Test cricket. So, hopefully, he will break Lara's record in Sri Lanka; otherwise, he can do it against Australia [at home]," he added.
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