Former Australian coach John Buchanan feels that Muttiah Muralitharan's record is less impressive against Australia because of the constant criticism he faced during the tours down under.
Buchanan, who coached Australia to two World Cup titles, said the umpire's criticism of Murali's action and the hostile environment at that time might have affected his performance against Australia.
Murali, who retired after taking a record 800 Test wickets last month, managed only 59 wickets in 13 Test matches against Australia. In comparison, he took 112 wickets in 16 Tests against England, 104 wickets in 15 Tests against South Africa and 105 wickets in 22 Tests against India.
"Murali's early encounter with Australian umpires and crowds were very critical of his action. As a consequence, he may never have felt totally comfortable touring Australia,” Buchanan was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.
He further attributed Murali's under par performances against the Kangaroos to the nature of pitches in Australia.
"Australia for any spinner can be an unforgiving location as the wickets are reasonably true for four of the five days of Test matches. Having said that, very few players in any sport can retire with the fairytale ending. Muralitharan has done so and richly deserves such a farewell."