Sri Lanka’s very own Rangana Herath has been included in the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s Test Team of the Year.
The ICC Test and ODI teams were selected by Former Test stalwarts Rahul Dravid, Gary Kirsten and Kumar Sangakkara, who made the selection based on the players’ performances during the period 14 September 2015 to 20 September 2016.
Herath’s selection along with some of the best players in the world makes it a proud moment for Sri Lanka Cricket. England’s Alastair Cook has been named as captain of the ICC Test Team of the Year, which includes four Englishmen, three Australians, and a player each from New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka and South Africa.
Herath, currently ranked No. 3 in the world, is an orthodox left-arm spinner who has taken over from Muttiah Muralitharan as Sri Lanka’s main wicket-taking bowler in Tests. As a left-arm spinner, his strengths are his accuracy and his ability to bowl long spells, but to that he has added a ‘mystery’ ball, a delivery that is quicker and darts back into the right-hander.
In his early years, he was seen as a support act to Muralitharan, though he had his moments to savour: against Pakistan in 2009, his 4 for 15 got Sri Lanka an improbable win, as Pakistan were bundled out for 117 chasing 168. Most of the time during that period, though, his role was to bowl long spells block the runs and build pressure on the batsmen, allowing Murali to work his magic from the other end.
In his debut as Sri Lanka captain in the last series against Zimbabwe recently, Herath celebrated a 2-0 series win with his seventh ten-wicket haul in Tests. His match figures of 13 for 152 took his series tally to 19 wickets, marking a personal milestone during the tour.
ICC Test Team of the Year 2016 (in batting order) is: 1. David Warner (Australia) 2. Alastair Cook (England) (captain) 3. Kane Williamson (New Zealand) 4. Joe Root (England) 5. Adam Voges (Australia) 6. Jonny Bairstow (England) (wicketkeeper) 7. Ben Stokes (England) 8. R. Ashwin (India) 9. Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka) 10. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 11. Dale Steyn (South Africa) 12. Steve Smith (Australia)
ICC ODI Team of the Year 2016 (in batting order) is: 1. David Warner (Australia) 2. Quinton de Kock (South Africa) (wicketkeeper) 3. Rohit Sharma (India) 4. Virat Kohli (India) (captain) 5. AB de Villiers (South Africa) 6. Jos Buttler (England) 7. Mitchell Marsh (Australia) 8. Ravindra Jadeja (India) 9. Mitchell Starc (Australia) 10. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa) 11. Sunil Narine (West Indies) 12. Imran Tahir (South Africa)