Galle, November 6: Paul Farbrace rates Rangana Herath as one the "greats" in subcontinental conditions despite resembling a "club cricketer" ahead of the Sri Lanka spinner's swansong against England.
Herath will make the final appearance of his illustrious career in the first Test in Galle, which starts on Tuesday (November 6), leaving a huge void for Sri Lanka to fill.
The slow left-armer is 10th on the all-time list of Test wicket-takers, with 430 scalps from 92 matches over a period of 19 years.
England head coach Farbrace has worked with Herath twice during spells with Sri Lanka and paid tribute to the veteran on the eve of his last Test.
"In subcontinental conditions, Rangana's up there with Murali , Kumble and the greats," said Farbrace.
"In these conditions, he knows how to get the most out of them. Where others might have up-and-down days, he stays on exactly the same path the whole time. He deserves the wickets he has got, because he's absolutely fantastic."
Career statistics of the most successful left-arm bowler in the history of Test cricket prior to his one last hurrah against England.— Sri Lanka Cricket (@OfficialSLC) 5 November 2018
WATCH: 👉https://t.co/uWOiwhRN2j 👈#ThankYouHerath #Legend @HerathRSL
Farbrace added: "He's such a phlegmatic, calm, relaxed guy - there's nothing excitable about him. He's Mr Dependable. Even with the bat he's got Sri Lanka out of trouble plenty of times.
"You look at him and you say he's like a club cricketer, but the bloke's mental strength is unbelievable. As mentally strong as any player I've come across.
"When he got called back in 2009, it wasn't like, 'Oh how unlucky am I? Poor me.' He didn't feel sorry for himself. He did what he wanted to do. He put people under pressure, and he changed the game here against Pakistan on the last morning.
"His weapon is his mental strength, coupled with the fact that he's so accurate. There's no mystery to him, what you see is what you get.
"But don't underestimate him - he'll be all over you. Even if you think you're playing him nicely, he is relentless with his lines and lengths. In Sri Lanka, he is a master of exploiting his own conditions."