Chennai:Spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan on Friday rated Rajasthan Royals, captained by another great of his craft and long time competitor, as favourites to win the Indian Premier League.
Talking to the media on the eve of Chennai Super Kings match against Rajasthan Royals, Muralitharan said, "According to the performance of teams in the IPL at the moment, the Royals look stronger (to win the tournament)," the Sri Lankan said.
"Anything can happen in Twenty20. It is unpredictable and can be anybody's game any day, though at present, based on performance, Rajasthan stand a better chance at winning," he added.
Opining that Twenty20 format was a batsman's game and did not hold much for the spinners, Muralitharan pointed out that since the boundary lines have been brought in, it was difficult to arrest the run rate and the bowling side was rather forced to concentrate on defending rather than attacking.
"A bowler gets just four overs and it is more of a batting wicket and the pitch doesn't hold anything much for spinners. Bowlers have to take wickets to win matches. Containing the flow of runs is not easy in Twenty20. Anyway people want to see more runs than wickets," he explained.
Giving a thumbs up to his team's batsmen, Muralitharan described the Chennai Super Kings performance with the willow as above average.
"We are the most consistent side (in batting) with just two failures out of 12. Our average of more than 160 is above average IPL score," he emphasized.
As for his strategies in the tournament, the spin wizard said he was not aiming to get many wickets but focusing on containing the batsmen.
"I'm not bent on getting wickets but just hitting economy rate which is around seven now. Sometimes, you have to think more about your team rather than you own success. I try to attack only during Tests. In ODIs and Twenty20s I just aim at keeping runs down and get wickets when a batsman takes a chance," he said.
Asked to compare the positive effects of Shane Warne and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the bowler known for his doosras quipped that they cannot be compared but Warne was more experienced.
"Warne has 20 years of experience and Dhoni has just started. But both are good and their teams have done well," he said.