'Murali will beat world record in Test'

Updated on Nov 24, 2007 04:00 PM IST

Captain Mahela Jayawardene is confident that off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan will surpass Shane Warne's world record for highest number of Test wickets.

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Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene is confident that off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan will surpass Shane Warne's world record for highest number of Test wickets during the forthcoming series against England.

"He (Murali) will break the record in the first Test itself," Jayawardene told reporters ahead of the series opener against England starting at Kandy next Saturday.

The recently-concluded Test series against Australia Down Under could yield Muralitharan only four wickets and he is still short of five wickets to get past the world record.

Jayawardene, upset over the 2-0 series loss against Australia, however, said their performance in the second Test against the Kangaroos would boost his team's morale.

"The confidence our batsmen regained in the second Test will provide a strong platform for us when we face the Englishmen here," the captain said.

"We were playing in different conditions there in Australia. But we always have extra edge when playing in Sri Lanka," Jayawardene said.

Jayawardene chose not to comment on the controversy surrounding former captain Marvan Atappatu, who recently announced his retirement from Test cricket, and described him as a great batsman.

"Marvan signified a whole new chapter in Sri Lanka cricket. He was a technically sound batsman and a player who made a great impact on our cricket," he said.

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