England’s assistant coach Paul Farbrace has hailed Sri Lankan premier spinner Rangana Herath as ‘genius’ in subcontinent conditions, saying his key weapon is his mental strength, ahead of the first Test of the three-match series on Tuesday (November 6) at Galle International Stadium.
Farbrace was assistant coach of Sri Lanka between 2007 to 2010 and head coach in 2014 said that the left-arm spinner is capable of on a turning pitch and he is fantastic in the business.
He told reporters ahead of the Galle Test, “In subcontinental conditions, Rangana's up there with Murali, Kumble and the greats. In these conditions, he knows how to get the most out of them. Where others might have up-and-down days, he stays on exactly the same path the whole time. He deserves the wickets he has got, because he's absolutely fantastic.”
Meanwhile, Farbrace lauded “Mr. Dependable” for his level-headedness as he has been preparing his England to face soon-to-retire 40-year-old led bowling attack Galle, which will be his final Test.
Farbrace said in praise of spinner, “He's such a phlegmatic, calm, relaxed guy: there's nothing excitable about him. He's Mr. Dependable. Even with the bat, he's got Sri Lanka out of trouble plenty of times. You look at him and you say he's like a club cricketer, but the bloke's mental strength is unbelievable. As mentally strong as any player I've come across.”
He signed off by saying, “His weapon is his mental strength, coupled with the fact that he's so accurate. There's no mystery to him. What you see is what you get. But don't underestimate him – he'll be all over you. Even if you think you're playing him nicely, he is relentless with his lines and lengths. In Sri Lanka, he is a master of exploiting his own conditions. He can turn a game. He looks innocuous, and the people who treat him as innocuous have done so at their own peril. In the subcontinent, he's a genius.”
(Inputs: International Cricket Council)