London: Sri Lankan spin great Muthiah Muralidaran is optimistic his countryman Rangana Herath, the leading Test wicket-taker in 2012, will be influential in the looming Australia-Sri Lanka Test series.
Left-arm finger-spinner Herath has taken 55 wickets from eight Tests this year, at an average of 20.95.
Second-placed Graham Swann``s 53 wickets have come from four additional Tests.
Muralidaran, whose Big Bash League stint for Melbourne Renegades will overlap the entire three-match Test series, said if pitch conditions in Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney were in Herath`s favour the veteran would exploit them.
“If the wickets start turning he`ll be a big threat for Australia because, [as] I understands, Australians don`t play left-arm spin much or that well . . . so he`ll be an ideal person to bowl against them,” the Age quoted Muralidaran, as saying.
Besides Herath, however, Muralidaran said he was concerned about the lack of Test experience among the Sri Lanka seamers coming to Australia.
Nuwan Kulasekera, Chanaka Welegedara, Dhammika Prasad, Shaminda Eranga or Nuwan Pradeep have not yet played 20 Tests, or a Test in Australia.
“Our bowling attack is very, very new so they have to get some experience. Other than that, we`re a very, very good side,” Muralidaran said.
Since the start of the year, Sri Lanka has played three home Test series, beating Pakistan one-nil and recording one-all stalemates against England and New Zealand.