Cricket - Cricket-Herath hopes to put Australia in a Melbourne spin

Dec 22 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan slow bowling spearhead Rangana Herath believes that Australia's limited opportunities to face quality spinners in domestic cricket will enhance his side's chances of success in next week's second test.

Herath, the leading test wicket-taker in 2012 with 60 victims from nine matches, has carried the burden of leading the Sri Lankan attack since the retirement of spinning great Muttiah Muralitharan.

The left-armer grabbed a second innings five-wicket haul in the first test in Hobart, which Sri Lanka lost by 137 runs, and is likely to be a handful in the Boxing Day test in Melbourne, on a pitch expected to offer help for slow bowlers.

"I know that the Australians, even in domestic cricket, they are 80-90 percent playing against fast bowlers," Herath told reporters in Melbourne on Saturday.

"So with that, I have chances to get wickets bowling spin."

Sri Lanka are still chasing their first test victory Down Under and need a win to square the series going into the third and final match in Sydney on Jan. 3.

The visitors will take heart from the fact that they won a test in South Africa last year while trailing 1-0 in the series with Herath claiming nine wickets in a man-of-the-match performance.

"In South Africa, (it was) the same scenario," he said.

"We lost... in the first test and we came back strongly and we did well and we won against South Africa in that Boxing Day test match," added the 34-year-old, who has taken 179 wickets in 43 tests.

"That was a remarkable one, because that's the only (test) we have won against South Africa on their soil." (Writing by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by John O'Brien)