London: Sri Lanka fast bowler Suranga Lakmal has come out in support of Vishwa Fernando, addressing the importance of the bowler in the team.
With the heroics of Kushal Perera and Vishwa Fernando in the first match, Sri Lanka took an early lead in the two-Test series against South Africa.
"We had actually desperately needed a left-armer in the team. When you have a left-armer, your combination is very different. In the last little while, we played with three right-handers, and you have all got the same angle and pace. Lahiru Kumara was the only one who had a bit of extra speed,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Lakmal, as saying.
"Vishwa is massively important for the other bowlers in the unit as well, because of that angle he creates. When he plays, at least one of us in the unit can bank on getting wickets, because the batsmen have to constantly adjust to the angle, and it is tough. He has got the chance now, and I am sure he will continue in the same way. His bowling in that Test was very special. If he can be as threatening as he was to the opposition, it is because he has got a lot of talent,” he said.
Fernando starred with both bat and ball in the first Test match. He took an eight wicket-haul in the match and provided much-needed support to Perera in the end to chase down the target of 304 runs.
Sri Lanka would go into the second match looking to create history as no Asian team has been able to win a series against South Africa at their home ground.
Sri Lanka will take on South Africa on 21 February in the second Test match at Port Elizabeth.