Rangana Herath may be retiring in November but the Sri Lankan Cricket fraternity has already started contemplating how different the things will be without his canny old fox like expertise. Not just the stalwarts in the side but even the youngsters like Akila Dananjaya dread thinking how life on the field will be like without him.
Danajaya is learning as much as he can while the wise man is still playing. “I don’t think we can fill that void very easily. He(Herath) is a legend. Since Rangana and Dilruwan (Perera) are there at the moment, I have a lot to learn from them. It’s very easy for me to play alongside them because they are speaking to each other and I also around both of them. We share Ideas and jokes as well but I learn a lot from them,”
Akila's stellar performance in the first innings of the ongoing SSC Test helped the home side run through the South African batting line up and gain a very sizeable lead with his 5 for 52. He even contributed with the bat and stretched the last wicket partnership with Herath.
Talking about it all, he was quoted saying, “I am happy about that because I have worked a lot with Thilan (Samaraweera, the batting coach). He supported me a lot, When in the middle, Rangana kept telling me that we need a partnership and I was just taking his advice.”
About his bowling, he specifically said, “I call myself as a mystery bowler because other than off-spin, I use leg spin and the googly as well. Even today, I used the leg spin and the googly, I was not doing anything big other than keeping a tidy line and length. But towards the end, I varied the deliveries a bit.”
(Inputs from Wisden India)