He destroyed Australian batting line up with 28 wickets in 3 test matches last year. In fact, Rangana Herath was the man who enforced a whitewash on the visiting Australian side. Sri Lanka won that series 3-0. Before coming to India this time, Australian spinners sought the advice of Sri Lankan experienced left arm spinner. Herath, in an exclusive interview with CricketSoccer, shared his experience with the Aussie Spinners. At the same time he expressed his view that Australian batting line up will find it difficult to handle the Indian spin attack.
Here are the excerpts:
CricketSoccer: Six months ago you ripped through the Australian batting line up in their tour to Sri Lanka. They are again visiting the subcontinent and this time they are against the number 1 test playing nation, India. What will you predict?
Rangana Herath: Australia must have had a lesson in their failure against Sri Lanka last year. I believe they have rectified their game to suit the condition of the subcontinent. Especially the Aussie spinners have the potential to do well in India. Nathan Lyon and the other Aussie spinners have had a few sessions with Monty Panesar in Dubai. They also sought the help from me. I hope the Australian spin attack will prove a point this time. They can be as efficient as the Indian spinners are. But what can hamper Australia is their weakness against quality spin attack. Apart from David Warner, Steve Smith and Shaun Marsh, there are not many batsmen in their team who can score runs against world class spin bowling.
CS: What did you advise the Aussie spinners?
RH: Nothing special. Just told them to keep it simple and focus on the basics. They will get a lot of turn from the pitches in India, which also can have a negative impact on their bowling. The extra assistance from the pitch can entice them and they might finish it up with wrong line and lengths. I have just made them alert about this. I think Lyon, Steve O’Keefe are not left much behind of Ashwin and Jadeja. All they have to do is to ball in proper line and length.
CS: What will you advise Indian spinners? What should they do against the Australian batting?
RH: I will say the same thing. Just keep it simple. Don’t try to do so many experiments. Concentrate on line and length. Keep testing batsman’s patience.
CS: What is your assessment of the India Spin duo Ashwin and Jadeja?
RH: They can be fatal for any batting line up. They bowl in an attacking line and length. They complement each other. Virat Kohli is very supportive. He set aggressive field for them.
CS: Will reverse swing come into play?
RH: Definitely! Especially, in this time of the year, the wickets of the subcontinent get rough and dry. There will be a scorching sun. The ball will lose polish very quickly, enabling the chance of an early reverse swing.
CS: Which team do you think to be the favourite?
RH: In Cricket, you cannot predict things. But India has the upper hand. Australia should play positive cricket. If they eye for a draw, it may worsen the situation for them.