Former Sri Lanka batsman Aravinda de Silva tipped his hat to left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, saying the veteran spinner has been remarkable over the years and the records set by him will be tough to break.
Herath became the most successful left-arm spinner during the first Test against Bangladesh in Galle, with his 363rd scalp, and then went on to claim his 1,000th first-class wicket in the second match.
Needless to say, the 38-year-old is the man of the moment in Sri Lankan cricket and De Silva is happy he has managed to carve a niche for himself after waiting in the wings with spin great Muttiah Muralitharan in the national team.
“He has done very well. He has been an under-rated bowler for so long. Rangana has achieved a lot in the last couple of years and must definitely be among the top when it comes to spin bowling,” De Silva told Sport360 on the sidelines of the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai.
“He always had a lot of talent. Unfortunately because of Murali in the team, he was not able to break into the side. But he has been patient. It is good Sri Lanka kept him (in the mix) without exerting him too much, so we have an experienced bowler now.”
Despite becoming the second Sri Lankan bowler to cross the 1,000 first-class wickets mark, after Muralitharan, De Silva said it is not right to compare the two.
“Him and Murali are two different bowlers. However, Rangana’s experience has really helped the team as well, with the kind of variations and knowledge he has. It will be tough for bowlers to take 1000 first-class wickets.”
The World Cup winning batsman added that while there are a few talented spinners around, filling the shoes of Herath once he leaves the scene will be tough.
“There are quite a few guys in the wings. But I don’t know if they will be able to achieve the same results.”