By ANI | December 11, 2012
Graham Ford played down the visitors’ dependence on Rangana Herath. © AFP
Sri Lanka’s Rangara Herath may prove to be more of a factor in the first Test against Australia at Hobart than first thought, despite the Blundstone Arena pitch proving to be a fast bowlers’ paradise in recent first-class matches and playing a part in Australia’s shock loss to New Zealand at the venue last year.
Statistics reveal that spinners can also prosper on the pitch, which would come as welcome news for in-form Herath.
In the 10 previous Tests at Hobart, finger spinners have averaged 30.5 runs-per-wicket compared to 37.2 for the quicks. Wrist spinners have the best figures at 27.1, but that is largely thanks to Shane Warne’s 28 scalps at 22.2.
Herath, a left-arm finger-spinner, is Test cricket’s leading wicket-taker for 2012, with 55 wickets at 20.95 from only eight matches.
However, Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford played down the visitors’ dependence on Herath when they arrived in Hobart last afternoon.
"I think we feel the bowling unit is going to have to work together. I don’t think it is about one individual," Ford said.
"He has had a fantastic year and has been very successful and an important part of our bowling unit, but I think it is about the unit working together. We are not going to pin our strategies around one bowler."
The first Test begins on December 14 at Hobart.