Kolkata, Aug 13: Blaming their woeful performance to the 'transition phase', Sri Lankan spin legend Muttaiah Muralitharan today said it is advantage India in the ongoing series and they would take couple of years to rebuild the team.
"We had so many great players who have retired and we're struggling. They're going through a transition phase with some new faces coming up... It'll take some time, at least one or two years for the team to build again. So it's advantage India at the moment," Muralitharan, who's been roped in as Bengal's spin bowling consultant in the CAB Vision 2020, said here.
Sri Lanka trail by 187 runs with eight wickets in hand in their second essay as India have tightened noose in the opening Test of the three-match series, which will see Kumar Sangakkara retiring after the second Test in Colombo from August 20-24.
R Aswhin scalped 6/46 on day one to bowl Sri Lanka out for 183 while in the second innings the off-spinner along with Amit Mishra claimed one each to have the hosts reeling at 5/2 at close on day two.
"India have got very good spin attack at the moment. Ashiwn has done well yesterday. He's a good bowler and the wicket was helping the spinners, a flat and turning track.
"India will be in a strong position, they have got better spin attack and better combination. Unlike us, they have set players who are together for a long time," the spin wizard said.
Keeping faith in the young team under Angelo Matthews, Murali said: "We've some good promising players. They're all young, changes will happen. We've to give them some time."
He also praised Virat Kohli's captaincy and said it's a right choice made by the Board. "He's done really well for RCB and the team, it's the right choice by the BCCI."
Muralitharan also rated Sangakkara's double hundred against Pakistan in the final of the Asian Test Championship at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore in March 2002 as one of his defining knocks.
"He won us the match, it was such a treat to watch that knock long time ago," Murali said recollecting the ace left-hander's 230 that had set up their eight-wicket win over Pakistan.
Paying glowing tribute to Sangakkara, he said: "He's been a phenomenal player for Sri Lanka and won a lot of matches for the country. It's sad that he's retiring but this day comes in every player's life. He chose the right time."