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Rangana Herath: How do numbers define him

499   //    06 Nov 2018, 11:03 IST

Rangana Herath will retire after the Galle Test against England
Rangana Herath will retire after the Galle Test against England

Life is set to come a full circle for Sri Lanka's veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath today at Galle. As declared earlier, he will hang his boots after the first test against England at Galle. He will culminate his cricketing journey on the same ground from where he had started 19 years ago.

Herath started his journey in 1999, and at present, has 430 wickets to his name. He is the second highest wicket-taker from Sri Lanka after the legend Muttiah Muralitharan(800 wickets).

Initial years

Herath is the most successful left-arm spinner in the history of cricket but he waited long to flourish at the international scene. In his initial years, he lost his contest to Muttiah Muralitharan and almost played with obscurity. From his debut in 1999 till 2010, he barely played 22 tests for Sri Lanka and could only pick 71 wickets with a weak average of 37.88.

It was only after Muralitharan's retirement he shone brightly. His performances bettered through leaps and bounds. Since Murali's retirement in 2010, he has featured in 70 of 81 tests that Sri Lanka have played and has picked 359 wickets with an average of 25.98.

His heroic performance(11 wicket haul) against South Africa in 2011 helped Sri Lanka register its first test match victory in South Africa and also reinstated him in the team.

Statistics and Records

1- Having made his debut in 1999, Herath is the only player in international cricket from the last century.

2- In 168 innings of 92 tests, Herath has 430 wickets to his name.

3- He is the second highest wicket-taker from Srilanka, after the legend Muttiah Muralitharan(800 wickets).

4- Presently, he is 10th on the list of highest wicket-takers in test cricket.


5- He is 5th on the list of five-wicket hauls takers in test cricket. He has 34 five-wicket hauls to his name.

6- He has taken 10-wickets in a game nine times in his career, only fourth best to Muralidharan, Shane Warne, and Richard Hadlee.

7- He has best figures of 9/127 in an innings of a test. He brought his best figures against Pakistan at Colombo(SSC).

8- He has picked 230 wickets after turning 35, most by any bowler.

9- Pakistan was his favorite opponent and has picked highest of 106 wickets against them.

10- From the present set of bowlers, he is only behind James Anderson(564 wickets) and Stuart Broad(433 wickets) in wickets tally.

Can break few records in his last match

He has 430 wickets at present and with one last test match in his kitty, he is very close to breaching a few more records.

He is just behind the wicket tallies of Richard Hadlee(431), Stuart Board(433) and Kapil Dev(434). He is presently 10th on the list of highest wicket-takers in Tests. But, If he goes past the tally of Kapil Dev, he will climb up to the seventh spot.

His Prime weapons - Consistency and Accuracy

Herath developed few fitness issues in later part of his career but even they couldn't deter his ferocious approach. He was never a rank turner of the cricket ball but had discipline and consistency as his allies. He could ball long spell with accuracy and frustrate batsmen to eventually to succumb to his pressure.

In his other variations, he had an arm ball that could outfox any batsman on the given day. Later in his career, he devised a carrom ball to broaden his bowling armory.

The retirement of Rangana Herath will not just be an end of an illustrious cricketing career but also the end of an era. His uncanny skills entertained the fans across and troubled the ones who played it between the 22-yards. A tough job awaits ahead for the Sri Lankan selectors as he is going to be a difficult shoe to fill.