Sri Lankan veteran Rangana Herath seems to be just like red wine, and is surely getting better with age. The left-arm spinner has been nothing short of a magician for the Sri Lankans, as he has single-handedly won them numerous matches. The victory achieved in the first test at Kandy was just an instance of how lethal Herath was on pitches that assisted him.
In the third test at Colombo, the veteran was at his best as he bagged yet another five-wicket haul to ensure that Australia’s lead didn’t exceed by a great margin. With the prospects of a rare whitewash looming, Herath has been Sri Lanka’s savior in this series. He was lauded by the team coach, Graham Ford, who even went on to compare the spinner with Tennis legend Roger Federer.
“I can’t say enough about the bloke,” said Ford, when quizzed about Herath’s achievement as he registered his 25th five wicket haul in test cricket. “I was joking in the dressing room saying he’s my all-time sporting hero. He’s just gone ahead of Federer.”
Despite being injured, Herath gave his best shot and damaged the Australian batting lineup. “He’s injured, he’s bowling on one leg, and he just shows so much guts and fight,” Ford said. “For an older guy to show that it just ignites the fight within the younger group in the example that he sets. “It really makes the job of the leadership group a lot easier when you’ve got a chap like that who goes out there and shows such courage batting and takes on the quicks.”
“After his nasty incident batting, he comes on to a bowl and makes a couple of brilliant diving stops in the dirt off his own bowling. “If you’ve got the old man throwing himself around like that, the youngsters just don’t have any excuse. “To have him in the side is brilliant,” Ford further added.