Herath Mudiyanselage Rangana Keerthi Bandara Herath
March 19, 1978, Kurunegala
Left hand Bat
Slow Left arm Orthodox
Rangana Herath is an orthodox left-arm spinner who has taken over from Muttiah Muralitharan as Sri Lanka's main wicket-taking bowler in Tests. As a left-arm spinner, his strengths are his accuracy and his ability to bowl long spells, but to that he has added a 'mystery' ball, a delivery that is quicker and darts back into the right-hander.
In his early years, he was seen as a support act to Muralitharan, though he had his moments to savour: against Pakistan in 2009, his 4 for 15 got Sri Lanka an improbable win, as Pakistan were bundled out for 117 chasing 168. Most of the time during that period, though, his role was to bowl long spells block the runs and build pressure on the batsmen, allowing Murali to work his magic from the other end.
Since Murali's retirement, Herath has been Sri Lanka's go-to bowler. His unrelenting accuracy, and his ability to subtly vary his pace and flight have made him a potent force even overseas, where conditions don't always favour spin bowling. On Sri Lanka's tour to South Africa in 2011-12, Herath's match haul of 9 for 128 helped the team to their first Test win in South Africa. Next season he also had an impressive tour of Australia, bowling long spells, taking wickets and keeping the runs in check when the fast bowlers struggled to exercise any sort of control. He was the leading wicket-taker in Tests in 2012, with 60 at an average of 23.61, thus proving conclusively that he had broken out of Murali's shadow, and was among the best left-arm spinners going around.
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