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Aussies lack talent - Murali

Published:Saturday | November 6, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Sydney (IANS):

Sri Lanka spin king, Muttiah Muralitharan, feels the current Australian bowling attack lacks talent, but tipped the team who wins the first Ashes Test to seal the series.

Muralitharan, who is playing his final competitive one-day international (ODI) in Sydney, said the Kangaroos still have depth in the batting department but don't have bowlers who can take 20 wickets in a Test match.

"At the moment, Australia are a bit down because of lack of talent," Murali was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

"You need to take 20 wickets, so you need a spinner to get two or three wickets and also one or two strike bowlers. (Mitchell) Johnson is a good bowler on song, but then he goes off form. That does not help them. (Glenn) McGrath was always tight, and he had (Jason) Gillespie and (Brett) Lee as well.

"So, they are struggling in bowling. The batting is not bad," said the man who has taken a staggering 1,300-plus wickets in international cricket.

The 38-year-old legend, however, believes the Ashes will be a close contest between arch-rivals England and Australia.

"It is difficult to say. England are in high mood, but luck can change quickly. Things can go wrong in one match and suddenly the pressure is on you. Whoever wins the first Test is going to win the series," opined Murali.

The first Test kicks off November 25 at the Gabba.