Suraj Randiv is another product Sri Lanka’s seemingly endless assembly line of spin bowlers. His off-spin exploits have been recognised by national selectors, with Randiv having played for the side in all three forms of the game. The only problem for the likes of Randiv is that he is constantly competing with a stack of other Sri Lankan spinners for one or two spots in the team.
The turning point in Randiv’s career came in an under-23 cricket carnival. 23 wickets in just four matches impressed everyone, especially Sri Lankan captain Marvin Atapattu. The then Sri Lankan captain brought him over to the Sinhalese Sports Club, where he enjoyed further success.
A solid 2008-09 saw him claim 43 wickets; enough to earn him a call-up to the national side. Three wickets on debut in the ODI side guided Sri Lanka to a comfortable win over local rivals India. The talented spinner had to wait another season before making his Test debut, also against India. It was a match well and truly dominated by the bat, with the tweaker finishing the first innings with 2/222 off 73 overs; a figure Richie Benaud would have loved saying. Although his figures might have looked poor, he did pick up the big scalps of Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid. The spinner has gone on to take 43 wickets in his 12 Test appearances, including five against New Zealand in 2012.
Randiv has had a bit more experience in 50 over cricket, having taken 33 wickets from his 28 appearances. The only blemish in his career happened in an ODI against India, when he bowled a deliberate no-ball to prevent Sehwag from reaching his century. The final ball sundry handed India the win, but left the big hitting opener stranded on 99*. The unsportsmanlike act earned him a one match ban.
Randiv was picked up by the Chennai Super Kings in the 2011 IPL, but received limited opportunities in a side dominated by quality spin bowlers.
Although slightly inexperienced, Randiv has enjoyed success against Australia, taking 3/20 in a World T20 match at Bridgetown back in 2010. His spin could trouble the Australian batsmen, especially on the turning deck in Sydney.