As Rangana Herath, greatest left arm spinner in world cricket history, is all set to retire from the international cricket after the first test against England that start today at iconic Galle stadium, Muttiah Muralitharan will witness the historical occasion, Cricket Age learns.
Interestingly, Murali, the all time greatest bowler with 800 test wickets, had witnessed Sri Lanka’s batting legends Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara farewell tests as well.
Rangana Herath will make his 93rd and final Test appearance for Sri Lanka. Going into his final Test, Herath has picked 430 wickets at an average of 27.95 and a strike rate of 59.7 in 168 Test bowling innings in his career.
Herath needs one wicket to equal Hadlee’s tally. He is three shy of Broad and four of Kapil. He could go down in history as the seventh-highest wicket taker of all-time.
Herath’s elevation as Sri Lanka’s leading bowler post Murali’s retirement transformed his career. From a support bowler he became a match-winner. This responsibility and leadership brought out the best in him. Remarkably from the age of 32.
In 70 matches thereafter, Herath has picked 359 wickets at an average of 25.98 and strike rate of 56.6. All his nine 10-wicket hauls have come in this period. 30 out of his 34 five-wickets in an innings have also come in this period.
Only James Anderson (399) has taken more wickets in Test cricket than Herath during this period. No bowler has more 10-wicket and 5-wicket in an innings hauls than the Sri Lankan spinner in this time-frame.