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Last Updated: Monday, 10 May, 2004, 10:06 GMT 11:06 UK
Buchanan predicts battle
Muttiah Muralitharan
Record-breaker Muralitharan was treated to a guard of honour
Muttiah Muralitharan's record-breaking exploits will fire up fellow spinner Shane Warne to overtake him, says Australia coach John Buchanan.

Muralitharan became the highest wicket-taker in Test history on Saturday when he beat Courtney Walsh's record of 519.

Muralitharan took two wickets in Sri Lanka's innings and 240-run victory over Zimbabwe to claim the record.

Buchanan said: "The battle between Murali and Warne and our batsmen is exhilarating stuff."

Warne is on 517 wickets, four behind Muralitharan, although the Australian will play against Zimbabwe after Sri Lanka and could wrench the record off Murali.

And Australia are set take on Sri Lanka in two Tests at home in July, with Warne and Muralitharan going head-to-head.

Buchanan said: "Once our series [in Zimbabwe] is finished hopefully there will be another head-to-head in Darwin and Cairns."

He also backed Muralitharan, whose 'doosra' action has been under scrutiny.

Buchanan added: "He's a class bowler and class bowlers should be able to bowl how they see fit.

"The ICC have cleared him from any suspect action. Obviously they have reviewed him recently but that's been more of a grease and oil change more then anything else."

Murali thanks his parents
08 May 04  |  Cricket
Murali: The debate goes on
21 Apr 04  |  Cricket

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