Go easy on Murali: Ponting

November 14th, 2007 - 2:42 am ICT by admin  
Murali will arrive with the Sri Lankan team in Adelaide tomorrow morning to take on the Australian team in a two-Test series next month and is certain to be the target of aggressive spectators again because of his controversial action.

“Everyone should respect what he’s done in the game. The facts are there has always been some contention about his action, but that doesn’t matter. He’s out there bowling and we’re out there batting and we have to play him the best way we can. I know it’s a difficult place for him to come. This is where it all started a long time ago now,” The Australian quoted Ponting, as saying.

The focus on Murali will be heightened as he attempts to claim the nine wickets necessary to break Shane Warne’s world record of 708. It will only be Murali’s second Test series in Australia and the first since umpire Darrell Hair no-balled him seven times for throwing during the Boxing Day Test in 1995, although Murali played a one-off Test for the Rest of the World in Sydney two years ago.

“Australian crowds have been known over the years as being as boisterous and one-sided and do hand out as much as any other crowd around the world,” Ponting said.

“But it is important to respect the opposition. Be hard on them and yell at them and do all that sort of stuff, but let’s keep a lid on it and make sure it’s not leaving a sour taste in anyone’s mouth.

“For us, we won’t be worrying about that or the crowds. What we’ll be worrying about is making sure we stay on top of him because if he has a big series he’ll certainly go a long way to making Sri Lanka very competitive in the series.

“He only needs nine wickets to knock Warnie off so if we can have him leaving Australia without breaking Warnie’s record that will be something we’re all pretty happy with,” Ponting said. (ANI)

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