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The Indians have lost their touch: Murali

"What's happened to your side? They were playing such solid cricket just a few months back," says Muttiah Muralitharan.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2003 02:22 IST

"What's happened to your side? They were playing such solid cricket just a few months back. We played them in England and in the mini World Cup final too and they seemed to be playing at their best. And suddenly, they're no longer the team they were. I really don't understand why the Indians lost their touch," says Muttiah Muralitharan.

The legendary off-spinner seems genuinely concerned about the current form, or lack of it, of the Indian team. Murali says he wants India to make it to the Super Six, possibly because he has been so successful against the Indian batsmen! "I really feel that the India should reach the Super Six phase. If they don't, it will be an upset as they have a very good batting line-up. Why they repeatedly fail is something that puzzles everybody but such a talented line-up can't be kept down for very long."

Murali believes that this might well be Sachin Tendulkar's Cup. "Sachin has not been among the runs and that spells danger for the bowlers. He is hungry. And in such a big tournament, he will definitely try his best to scale the top."

These two great cricketers have tremendous mutual respect. Just a few days ago, Tendulkar said that he felt Murali would finish with more than 700 Test wickets. Murali was his modest self when told of Sachin's comment. "It's nice of him but will I survive till that day? I really don't know."

He has already said he will only play Tests after the World Cup to lengthen his Test career. "Actually, bowling 10 overs in a one-day match is not a problem, it's fielding for those 50 overs that tires you out. I don't know whether it'll affect my performances in Tests," says the Lankan.

First Published: Feb 12, 2003 02:22 IST