Sri Lankan skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan wants his bowlers to help the prolific left-armer Rangana Herath tame Pakistan in the first Test starting here today.
Dilshan (left) with Herath. Pic/AFP
Sri Lanka have struggled in bowling in Tests since the retirement of spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan (highest Test wicket taker with 800), losing three Tests and drawing eight with only Herath threatening to take wickets. They have also missed slinger Lasith Malinga, who retired from Tests earlier this year because of injury problems, leaving the new-ball attack in the inexperienced hands of Chanaka Welegedara and Suranga Lakmal.
The Lankans have five fast bowlers for the three-Test series against Pakistan and despite sharing only 58 wickets between them, Dilshan hopes the pacemen will help his team end a victory drought.
"The future for our success lies with our fast bowlers. In the spin department only Herath has proved himself a top-quality bowler," said Dilshan of the spinner who has 100 wickets in 29 Tests.
Herath took 16 wickets in the two of the three Tests he played against Australia last month but found no support from the other end in the home series which Sri Lanka lost 1-0.
"If we hope to win Test matches we will have to have the support of the other spinners as well," said Dilshan of the slow attack which also has off-spinner Suraj Randiv, who has 19 wickets in five Tests. Dilshan was confident his team will adjust to the conditions of United Arab Emirates.
"This is the first time we are playing a Test series in UAE. But we have got very good, experienced players and they should adjust quickly to the conditions," said Dilshan.