Muttiah Muralitharan may be just nine short of overtaking Shane Warne as Test cricket's highest wicket-taker but Australian skipper Ricky Ponting says he is confident his team can stop the Sri Lankan off-spinner from capturing the record in its backyard.
The task of taking nine wickets to surpass the record of Warne's 708 wickets does not seem too hard for the wily bowler in next month's two-Test series but Ponting says he is determined not to let it happen in Australia.
"He needs nine wickets to pass Warney's world record and I want to make it pretty clear that it would be nice if he left Australia not getting those nine wickets," Ponting was quoted as saying by 'The Australian'.
"If that's the case, then we've done a pretty good job. He's also made it pretty clear over the years that he feels Australian batsmen play him better than any other team in the world. In saying that, and in our conditions, hopefully we can keep him under wraps," he added.
Ponting also played down apprehensions that there would be crowd trouble when Muralitharan plays his first Test on Australian soil after 12 years.
The Aussie skipper said he was confident that spectators would behave themselves even if Muralitharan overtakes local hero Warne.