Keshav Maharaj
Keshav Maharaj admits that they are the underdogs in this tour. Getty Images

South Africa spinner Keshav Maharaj on Thursday (July 19) admitted that they are the underdogs in this ongoing tour following their massive defeat against Sri Lanka in the first Test at Galle.

The left-arm spinner Maharaj further hailed the consistency of senior Sri Lankan left-arm spinner Rangana Herath.

Meanwhile, the visitors led by Faf du Plessis are pinning their hopes on Maharaj while eyeing for another turning track in Colombo.

The 28-year-old Maharaj showed rapid progress from his wicketless outing in the first innings to recover with figures of four for 58.

“Everywhere you go in the world you want to be consistent in your lengths to cause the batter to be uncomfortable when you are bowling,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Maharaj as saying.

Maharaj credited the turnaround in his second-innings performance to his more consistent lengths and a rediscovered rhythm – to create problems for the Lankan batters in between.

I had to pick it up quickly after the first innings where I didn’t have a lot of rhythms. I found that in the second innings I put the ball in better areas than I did in the first innings,” he added.

SL Vs SA, 2018: Keshav Maharaj Lavishes Praise on Rampant Rangana Herath
Photo Credit: Gallo Images.

The young spinner, Maharaj who is on his debut tour to the subcontinent, is leading the spin attack.

Also, playing in seamer-friendly conditions, it is tough for him to forge a partnership with other spinners. However, Maharaj seemed confident, insisting that pairing with chinaman Tabraiz Shamsi complements each other.

Shamsi and I played a bit of domestic cricket together,” he said.


We’ve always known each other and what we are about, we enjoy bowling together. It is something new for me because I have never bowled with another spinner at international level, but it is a lot of fun,” he continues.

It was a different Sri Lanka side:

Maharaj reiterated that it was a different Lankan side when they’d visited South Africa on that disastrous tour. He also lauded Herath for his supreme legacy with the ball.

Rangana Herath
Photo Credit: Getty Images

His consistency is phenomenal,” he said of Herath. “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,” he admits.

The second Test starts from July 20 (Friday) and the Proteas will have their last chance to redeem themselves.

Keshav Maharaj maintained the belief and the motivation in the camp remain high, despite the battering at Galle.

Also read: Harsha Bhogle backs MS Dhoni to bat at No 4

Ankush Das

I am an accountant by qualification, my parents thought their obedient son would study further to become a CA, but I had other things in mind. An ardent Cricket fan is following his passion and making...