Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd Test, SSC, 3rd day August 16, 2014

'World-class' Herath made difference - Grant Flower

Pakistan began the SSC Test strongly but have since ceded the advantage, as Sri Lanka built a lead of 165 with eight wickets in hand. Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower said that the in-form spinner Rangana Herath was what separated the two teams.

"He is a world-class bowler and bowled very well and he was the main difference," Flower said. "That's not surprising obviously as everyone knows that our guys struggled a bit but we hope to get things right in the second innings."

When asked if there was any problem with the technique of the batsman, he once again gave credit to Herath. "I don't think there is any particular aspect for going down in the first innings, actually they came across the world's best bowler [Herath] who troubles the best in the world. He is bowling in his home conditions ... but still we played very well in the first innings. Hopefully we will get a good go in the second innings."

This is Flower's first assignment in charge of Pakistan's batting, a department that has been a stumbling block over the years. Flower, however, was optimistic about finding a formula for improvement. "I think there have always been some problems with the consistency but they are good players, with a lot of talent, and have all the shots.

"But I suppose what is needed is to find out the balance between defence and attack, so as to bat for long periods at the crease knowing their own strengths and weaknesses, which shot to take on at the right time."

Pakistan's troubles were compounded as their spearhead Junaid Khan was sidelined after being hit by a Dhammika Prasad. That brought Pakistan down to three specialist bowlers, and they were far from disrupting the legendary partnership of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. Flower remained hopeful about Pakistan's chances in the Test. "If you look at the Test in Sharjah earlier this year, Pakistan had chased a target of 300 runs on day five so they are definitely capable of chasing any target. There is a lot of cricket yet to be played."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 17, 2014, 13:17 GMT

    @wapuser It doesn't matter how many varieties he has, its how he uses them. And as far as I know, he has at least 3 varieties: an orthodox left arm off-spinner, an arm ball and a "carrom" ball. You could probably add a top spinner in their as well.

  • Dummy4 on August 17, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    @Wapuser, Herath isn't a world class bowler? He's got the most wickets of any bowler this year playing against England South Africa and Pakistan (and Bangladesh) he's a great bowler, he has 4 ten-wicket hauls in his test career and 20 5 wicket hauls in a 57 match test career. He has won matches for sri lank in different countries.

  • Dummy on August 17, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    Hearath is not a world class bowler , it was all pak batsman mistakes who just gifted their wicket to him , hearth has just two varaities , I also don't know why he ranks 5th in ICC test rankings..

  • Steven on August 17, 2014, 2:01 GMT

    U got to give credit to herath cos he troubles everyone in many diff conditions Pakistan can play spin good so it's more that hearths good classy bowling then the batting from Pakistan the only shame with herath is he should have played way over 100tests by now and he would off had many more wickets I know murali was around but I'm sure they could have and should have found away to play him in the team as well

  • Charindra on August 16, 2014, 22:30 GMT

    Finally somebody acknowledging that Herath's the best, even though he's from a small country like Sri Lanka. Well done Grant

  • Ranil on August 16, 2014, 21:19 GMT

    'came across the world's best bowler' what a tribute to my fellow Herath. No mystic, unique or unorthodox action controversies like other famous names, he is the top of the list!

  • Android on August 16, 2014, 20:08 GMT

    herath was superb . and no other lankan bowler looked to get any wicket. but top 3 played unnecessary and poor shots. that is what flower need to address. ahmed, azhar and khurram gave away their start and initiative.

    in 2 nd innings, pakistan troubles are because of junaid khan. without him, this attack is nothing. ajmal is not at his best and rehamn is simply finished. wahab is inconsistent. pak badly missing junaid and 1 of main factor. this wicket is different that UAE. and main point was SL's attitude in that game. so not so good for pakistan. and more importantly, 1 st they have to take 8 wickets soon .

  • Dummy4 on August 16, 2014, 19:50 GMT

    agree with flower, nowadays there is no any option with SL for Herath. After murali , herath is the best bowler for SL. Best of luck for herath

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