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Last updated: 30 March, 2012 - Published 15:26 GMT
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Murali irreplaceable - Rangana Herath

Rangana Herath (file photo)
'My hope is to improve my bowling and rise above the current rank'
The new generation of bowlers are determined to help Sri Lanka come out of Muttiah Muralitharan’s shadow says Sri Lanka left arm spinner Rangana Herath.

Herath, the fifth Sri Lankan bowler to get 10 or more Test wickets in a match, was adjudged the Man of the Match after he claimed 12 English wickets in the first Test in Galle.

“I don’t think I am filling in Murali’s shoes; I don’t think we will able to replace Murali, he is irreplaceable, but we as a new bowling unit are trying to contribute our best to the success of the team,” Rangana Herath told BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshaya.

Rangana, who is very happy about his personal best and team’s success said, “first I got 12 wickets for the first time in my career and it was really nice to be able to contribute to the defeat of the world’s No1 ranking team.”

Spinners' paradise

Together with England’s Graeme Swann, the spinners were responsible for most of the wickets fallen from Monday to Thursday in Galle International Stadium.

Herath also commended his fellow bowler Suraj Randiv.

Huge Murali cutout in Galle
Murali bid farewell to Test cricket in July 2010

“I think Suraj bowled really well in the Galle Test. In terms overs I bowled many more overs than Randiv and one can’t expect two bowlers to perform really well in one match,” Herath told the BBC Sandeshaya.

Herath regained the six place in the ICC test rankings, a career-high seventh after taking 6-74 and 6-97 in Galle.

“This is the second time I was ranked seventh in ICC Rankings. First I reached that position after the Durban match in South Africa,” he said.

“But my hope is to improve my bowling and rise above the current rank.”

Commenting after the first innings, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene hailed Herath as Sri Lanka’s best bowler.

“It is very nice for the team’s captain to encourage players like that,” he said.

“I got a lot of confidence from it and the most important factor for any player to perform well is confidence so it is really nice.”

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