Kohli hasn’t dominated him. Kane Williamson hasn’t slaughtered him. Smith or Root didn’t get to test their mettle against him much. Do they feel lucky? They probably should. This bloke doesn’t have much cricket left in him anyways.
It’s often said that Cricket is a batsman’s game.
Bowlers don’t have much going for them. If not injuries, then it’s the flat batting tracks. But Herath, who has incredible guile, doesn’t have youth on his side. He’s 39.
At a time where cricket’s music is sadly stemming from aggressive overtones, the sound of batsmen’s timber being disturbed enthuses Rangana Herath like nothing else. Not even his own record, a fascinating statistical collection that plays like a cricketing melody.
446 international wickets. A number that keeps increasing.
He is clinical.
Herath’s provided us his version of the ball of the century. But no one remembers that.
If one were to ever draft a read about cricket’s great repentance then surely, for under rating Herath there would be a great chapter.
You don’t hear ‘Herath’ chants at a Kandy in admiration for a man who holds the record for the most wickets ever grabbed by a left arm spinner.
“When Murali’s retired, spin also died in Sri Lanka”
But Herath has never been reported for suspect action.
At 5 feet 5 or something, Herath doesn’t naturally get attention. You won’t run to him for an autograph instantly. He’s no Akram or Warne.
What he does have, however, are stats that turn your head in awe. You just don’t realise that he has them. In the last 4 years, Herath has picked up a ridiculous 254 of his 373 Test wickets. But who knew.
Now at 39, an age Warne nor Vettori reached on the cricket pitch, Herath is competing with the excitement of a 20-year-old.
Herath is the bowling Chanderpaul
Unsung, very understated, content in his zone.
But to batsmen who don’t relish him, Herath is that niggling haggler who confuses, dries up the run rate and even convinces you that you won when he tricks you into hitting a boundary.
A sharply turning ball often sneaks past your defences. He doesn’t need rough to achieve that. But rough is how he is judged against his peers. And rough is just how he likes it.