x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Murali: Mendis' arrival will help me

Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan believes the emergence of the young spinner Ajantha Mendis will help prolong his own career.

Ajantha Mendis shone in the first Test for Sri Lanka.
Ajantha Mendis shone in the first Test for Sri Lanka.

COLOMBO // The Sri Lanka star Muttiah Muralitharan believes the emergence of the young spinner Ajantha Mendis will help prolong his own career. Muralitharan and Mendis, 23, formed a formidable partnership in the first Test thrashing of India, taking 19 of the 20 wickets between them. "He's one of the most talented guys I've seen," said Muralitharan, 36, the world's leading Test wicket taker. "He is our future.

"I wanted to play until the World Cup. Now that Ajantha has come, I can play for a few more years. Because of his presence my bowling will be reduced. "If I bowl 30 to 35 overs I will be happy as I am ageing. The job will be easier for me." Muralitharan feels Sri Lanka's potent three-pronged attack of him, Mendis and the fast bowler Chaminda Vaas strike fear into their opponents. "Vaasy is a class act, a wonderful bowler. He keeps the pressure from one end and takes wickets as well."

Sri Lanka have called up the uncapped paceman Dammika Prasad for the second Test against India in Galle starting on Thursday, although they are expected to name an unchanged side. * PA Sport