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Sri Lankan players rejoice after the fall of the last Indian wicket which gave them a 63-run win in the first Test that ended at the Galle International Stadium.

Sa’adi Thawfeeq reporting from Galle

GALLE: Sri Lanka’s match-winner in the first Test against India, left-arm spinner Rangana Herath said that being dropped from the national team was “like bread and butter to me” because it has happened to him on many occasions during his chequered career.

Herath who was left out of the third Test against Pakistan for poor form last month bounced back strongly to bowl Sri Lanka to a comprehensive 63 runs win in the first Test at the Galle International Stadium with figures of seven wickets for 48 runs as India chasing 176 for victory crumbled for 112.

It was not the first time in his career that Herath has responded with a match-winning performance after being dropped and recalled to the team.

“Being dropped from the team is nothing new to me because I’m confident I can perform. I’ve done it in the past. That confidence to trust myself keeps me going and helps me,” said Herath.

“For every batsman and bowler, there are rough patches in their careers. I have done lot of good things in the recent past. So what I thought is that I can do the same again. I trusted on that and went on.

“I bowled well in the first innings but unfortunately I couldn’t get wickets. But we realized that there was something on this track and with the spin bowling coach, we had a plan before the fourth innings.

“There were no special plans for the batters normally before the series we have a chat on what we’re going to do; it was a matter of landing the ball on the right places. That’s what I did on this track,” he said.

Herath, 37 said that with age you had to come up with something special than others to be in the team.

“I’ve gathered lot of experiences during the last few years. Yet, if I can learn something more, I’m ready to gather that information.”

Herath had a word of praise for 22-year-old off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal who took three wickets in the second innings for match figures of eight for 181.

“He is a very exciting player. For me, he is going to be the future bowler for Sri Lanka cricket,” said Herath.

“He has played a few matches in the recent past and he has showed that he has the variety. He is just 22 years old and he needs experience. He needs to improve a lot and he needs to be consistent.

“However, with these set of coaches, he can go a long way. Especially at his age, he is in a very good position to improve himself.”