Keshav Maharaj says he drew insight from left-arm spinner Rangana Herath on how to improve his own game.
The Proteas face Sri Lanka in the crucial final Test in Colombo on Friday. Having lost the first Test in Galle by a mammoth 278 runs, the mountain looks steep for the Proteas as they aim to save the two-match series with a win.
The Proteas batsmen struggled to cope with the spinner-friendly conditions in Galle. As a collective, the Sri Lanka spinners took a total of 17 out of 20 wickets. Herath was a massive part of their success, taking 2-39 and 3-38 in Galle and, with 77 wickets to his name at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo, will undoubtedly pose a threat once again.
The 40-year-old is one of the leading Test spinners in the world with a tally of 423 wickets in 91 matches and is renowned for his accuracy and endurance despite his age.
Maharaj admitted to drawing knowledge from the Sri Lankan spinner.
‘His consistency is phenomenal,’ he said in Colombo on Wednesday. ‘Left-arm spinners are known to control the game but he does something special.
‘He turns the ball at will, he slides the ball on at will, it is something that I would love to learn in my trade and I will try to get some knowledge from him going forward.
‘I spoke to him when Sri Lanka toured South Africa last year and he gave me some insight, I would like to pick his brain more about playing in subcontinent conditions. He is the best in the world at what he does.’
The Proteas face Sri Lanka in the second and final Test in Colombo on Friday at 6:30am SAST.
Photo: Isuru Sameera Peiris/AFP/Gallo Images