Herath to lead Lanka for first time at home

Herath to lead Lanka for first time at home

Rangana Herath has led Sri Lanka as stand-in skipper in Zimbabwe and Bangladesh but on Wednesday he will lead the hosts for the first time in a Test at home.

With regular skipper Dinesh Chandimal out of the first Test against India with pneumonia, Herath has been handed the captaincy responsibilities once again and he couldn’t have wished for a better venue. The Galle International Cricket Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for the left-arm spinner who has taken a whopping 93 wickets in 16 Tests here. And it wasn’t surprising to see the veteran talk about home advantage.   

“We need to look for home advantage,” said Herath on the eve of the match here on Tuesday. “But at the same time, we'll have to look at different abilities of both teams. We select the team on that basis. So far, we have played with more spinners but we're playing against the world's number one team. So we have to be more responsible,” he reasoned.

It was Herath’s seven-wicket haul that had punctured India’s chase to 112 all out in 2015 but the bowler doubted if the spinners would get the same benefit this time too. “This looks like a good pitch. If someone bowls in good areas, there will be good results. Now I cannot say whether it’s going to turn or not. But I can say, on the fourth & fifth days, there will be some assistance for the spinners.”

Herath felt something special was needed from the hosts to stop the mighty Indians. “They are the number one team at the moment. They also play a very good cricket. So this is an interesting and challenging tour. So we need to do something special.”

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