Muttaiah Muralitharan rates Brian Lara above Sachin Tendulkar

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Dubai, Jan 29: Legendary off-spinner Muttaiah Muralitharan has identified former West Indies maestro Brian Lara as the most difficult batsmen he has ever bowled to.

Full schedule MCL

The 43-year-Muralitharan, here to compete in the inaugural Masters Champions League (MCL) along with Lara, admitted the former West Indies captain often dominated him during their career battles, reports CMC.

A file picture of Muralitharan

"I have played against lot of great batsmen but one person I found very hard to bowl to is Brian Lara," the Sri Lankan said on Thursday.

"I have played a lot of Test matches against him and he was one of the best players of spin and so he dominated me."

Murali, as he is affectionately known, finished an illustrious career top of the bowling charts in both Tests and One-Day Internationals (ODIs). He picked up an astonishing 800 Test wickets from 134 Tests at an average of 22 and claimed 534 scalps from 350 ODIs at 23 runs apiece.

The 46-year-old Lara, meanwhile, topped the all-time West Indies run-scorers list with 11,953 runs from 131 Tests to be sixth on the all-time international list. In one memorable series against Murali in Sri Lanka 15 years ago, Lara smashed 688 runs in three Tests at an average of 114.

Both former stars are two of the main attractions in the MCL which bowled off on Thursday, with Lara leading the Leo Lions and Muralitharan lining up for Gemini Arabians. Despite having suffered at Lara's hands in the past, Muralitharan said things would be different in the MCL.

"In MCL I don't think I may have to worry much about him because he is much older than me and I think I will be better off than him," Muralitharan joked.

IANS

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