|Event:||ICC Champions Trophy 2009/10|
DateLine: 17th September 2009
Sri Lankan champion off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan is hoping to be in the thick of Sri Lanka's Champions Trophy campaign.
Murali missed the Compaq Cup triangular one-day series because of the groin strain he suffered in the Test series against New Zealand.
The 37-year-old could therefore only watch as India beat Sri Lanka in the final in Colombo.
"It was disappointing to lose the final to India," Muralitharan conceded.
"Chasing a huge total is difficult, especially in day-night games.
"We should have restricted them to a lower total. You can come up with all sorts of excuses, but you have got to admit that they played very well.
"But that is in the past, and we are all looking forward to the Champions Trophy.
"We have done well in multi-nation tournaments, reaching the final, and hope we will be able to come up with a good show in South Africa as well."
Murali said that the team's batting needed to improve if they are to win the forthcoming mini-World Cup in South Africa.
"The Champions Trophy is going to be a huge tournament, and it will be very demanding as well," he predicted.
"You have got to compete hard right from the start.
"We have struggled a bit with our batting recently. But Thilan (Samaraweera) has got runs, and (Thilina) Kandamby has been batting well too.
"If Sanath (Jayasuriya) also makes runs that would be good, and we can make a real impact."
Sri Lanka will play South Africa, New Zealand and England in their group matches.
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