Sachin one of the greatest: Murali

Updated: Apr 01, 2011, 19:35 PM IST

Zeecric Bureau

Mumbai: As the world is waiting for the big battle between spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan and batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, Murali said on Friday that the master blaster is one of the greatest in world cricket and the records he had set could never be surpassed.

Muralitharan, who will retire after the World Cup, will come face to face for the last time with Sachin Tendulkar in a World Cup match, which could also be the last World Cup for the master blaster.

“Sachin Tendulkar is one of the greatest in world cricket and his statistics are unmatched,” he said on the eve of the title clash while talking to a news channel.

When asked on the opponents and the favourites going into the match, he said, “I need the World Cup, that’s what we are here for. Indian batting line-up is strong, but nothing remains permanent.”

A billion Indians are praying that the best batsmen of modern times will score an unprecedented 100th international century and take India to victory in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka.

All roads have led to the Wankhede Stadium in Tendulkar`s home town for the first all-Asian World Cup final between the two best teams in the competition. India transcended the dizzy expectations of their demanding supporters to defeat Pakistan in Mohali on Wednesday after overcoming four-times champions Australia in the quarter-finals. Sri Lanka`s progress to a third World Cup final has been clandestine by comparison but they have done nothing to dispel pre-tournament assessments that they are the strongest all-round side in the competition.

In a further theatrical twist, the final will also feature the man ranked by the Wisden almanac as the leading spin bowler in the history of a sport described by Ashis Nandy in "The Tao of Cricket" as "an Indian game accidentally discovered by the British". Muttiah Muralitharan is the only survivor of the Sri Lankan side who brought an extra dimension to one-day cricket at the 1996 World Cup with their delightful blend of aggression and subtlety.

While Tendulkar has still to play the innings which will complete a century of centuries, Muralitharan has already defied the laws of probability in both his final Test and his last match on home soil. Muralitharan captured his 800th Test wicket with his final delivery in a five-day match. He then took a wicket with his final ball on Sri Lankan soil in the semi-final win over New Zealand on Tuesday.