#Rangana Herath is a mesmerizing keg spinner who bamboozles the opponent batters with his guile and spin. At the age of 39, he has reached another zenith of his career when he has surpassed Daniel Vettori’s 362 wickets to become the highest wicket taking leg spinner in test cricket. Vettori first created the record during a test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at Galle. He has taken 365 wickets at the end of the first test against Bangladesh and second test would begin from March 15.
This not the first-time senior citizen has excelled in sports in recent times. Indian tennis legend Leander Paes, Swiss maestro Roger Federer, Pakistan test cricket captain Misbah-ul-Haq are some of the names who has excelled in sports after having completed more than 35 years of age. The age-old notions of ‘wear and tear’ affecting the performance, has been scrapped by these legends and hope their quests would inspire people trying to make a cut in sporting arena.
Rangana Herath is the man of the moment for Sri Lanka
The battle for who is the latest left arm spinner rage on .Derek Underwood of England is one serious contender. Vettori of New Zealand is another contender. Rangana Herath ranks nineteenth with the most scalps in test cricket, surpassing Pakistan pace legend Imran khan on the list. The one left arm bowler who has taken more wickets than Herath is another great Pakistan pace bowler Wasim Akram who has four hundred and fourteen wickets.
Herath has taken five or more wickets in an innings twenty-nine times and has taken five or more wickets in the fourth innings ten times. Rangana Herath is the second leading test wicket taker for Sri Lanka behind Muralitharan who is leading the pack way ahead with eight hundred wickets. Herath had over taken Sri Lankan pace maestro Chaminda Vaas record of three hundred and fifty-six. Achieved in the recent test series between South Africa and Sri Lanka at South Africa.
The key factor that makes Rangana Herath record impressive is the fact that he had started playing test cricket from the age of 31 and he has reached 39 years. He had played a mere 14 tests till 2008 even though he made his debut in 1999. Herath could establish himself in the side only after the retirement of Muralitharan and it is a sad fact of history that these two Sri Lankan legends have not bowled much in tandem. It is the mental fortitude that really shows the way he has shaped his career even when he was staring down the barrel and cricket lovers should really salute the diminutive bowler from the island.
Rangana Herath bowling style
Herath loves to toss the ball up and he is not afraid of being hit out of the park when he does that. Rangana Herath always looks for beating the batters with his flight and only good players of spin who can go to the pitch of the ball would survive Herath’s flight. His surprise ball is the delivery that zips after hitting the pitch and can leave the batters floundered.
There is no change in the action or in the grip of the ball that would make batters expect that delivery. Rangana Herath always bowled for long spells and sometimes continuously, proving his high stamina levels. Bowers like Rangana Herath makes test cricket livelier. He is one sort of bowler who keeps on doing his job without making a fuss and creating ruckus around him.