Dhoni - Ignore Murali sideshow

No place for sentiment in Test cricket, warns India skipper

Last Updated: 16/07/10 4:21pm

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Friendship: Dhoni (left) and Muralitharan

Friendship: Dhoni (left) and Muralitharan

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India are determined not to get drawn into the Muttiah Muralitharan retirement party during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle, starting on July 18.

"We all know Murali is a great bowler and his achievements speak for themselves. More importantly, he is also a great human being and I cherish his friendship."
Mahendra Singh Dhoni Quotes of the week

Muralitharan, the leading wicket taker in both Test and one-day international history, has announced the series opener will be his 133rd and final Test appearance.

The 38-year-old spinner needs eight wickets to reach 800 in Tests, a landmark that would provide a fitting finale to his prolific - and occasionally controversial - 18-year career.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, while a friend and admirer of Muralitharan who he plays alongside for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, is keen for his batsmen to take a ruthless approach.

Here to win

"Good luck to Murali, but we are here to win," said Dhoni.

"We all know Murali is a great bowler and his achievements speak for themselves.

"More importantly, he is also a great human being and I cherish his friendship.

"However, this is Test cricket and we do not intend to give our wickets easily.

"Our batsmen would like not to give him the opportunity to reach 800 wickets during the first Test."

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