Rangana Herath has only one regret ahead of international retirement

Herath boasts of more than 430 Test wickets under his belt.

Rangana Herath of Sri Lanka
Rangana Herath of Sri Lanka. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka’s veteran Rangana Herath might be the most successful left-arm spinner in history, but he will leave the Test arena with an unfulfilled wish. As he hangs his boots up after a lengthy and illustrious career in Test cricket, Herath will still have one regret – not winning a series in India. Herath, aged 40, is all set to call it quits after the first Test against England that is currently underway.

The encounter is hosted at his home ground in Galle. The left-arm spin bowler has taken five-wicket hauls against all Test-playing teams during his 19-year long career. He recently became the third bowler to pick up more than 100 wickets at a single Test venue. He also stands 10th on the all-time highest wicket-takers list with more than 430 dismissals under his belt.

However, while Sri Lanka have registered many victories against some of the top Test playing nations, they are yet to defeat India in a Test series in India. Unfortunately for Herath, that’s a record he will not be able to change before he retires from the longest format of the game.

Herath recalls 2009 Ahmedabad Test when Sri Lanka piled up 760

When asked if he had any regrets before stepping away from Test cricket, the Sri Lankan legend simply replied, “Not winning in India.” He said during an interview with the Hindustan Times, “I have been part of the side when we won all over the world, but not winning in India was a bitter pill to swallow. We had a good chance in Ahmedabad in 2009. We took a massive first-innings lead of 350 runs, but Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir scored hundreds in the second innings and saved the game. [We] should have won that.”

India had put up a sizable total of 426 in the first innings of that particular match after batting first. They were led by fine centuries from Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni. But what followed was one of the most memorable batting performances by a team, as Sri Lanka piled up a mammoth 760 after which they declared the innings. Mahela Jayawardene led the charge for the Lankans with a magnificent 275, while Prasanna Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan also notched up centuries.

However, it took some resilience from Gambhir and Tendulkar in the second innings, who helped India get to 412 with the loss of only 4 wickets. The match eventually ended in a draw, and Sri Lanka would have been utterly disappointed not to have clinched that Test. India subsequently went on to win the next two Tests comfortably, bagging the three-match series 2-0.

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