Door not closed for Randiv but Sri Lanka have 2015 World Cup in mind


Russel Arnold responds to questions from fans in his weekly column
June 16, 2012

Suraj Randiv
Suraj Randiv is often overlooked for Sri Lanka’s One-Day squad. © AFP/Ishara S. KODIKARA

Thisara Perera does not swing the ball like Nuwan Kulasekara or Angelo Mathews and he is not quick like Lasith Malinga but he keep taking wickets; what’s his secret? – Ruwan Rajapakse.

It is surprising to many, as he does not seem to possess the qualities you mentioned. But that’s what doing the basics right can do for you. He does have a slingy action and is a little quicker than he appears on TV. On occasions, he does move the ball ever so slightly which is sufficient to get wickets. He has slipped under the radar as well, which can happen when part of a good pack of bowlers; Malinga builds pressure and Kulasekara does the same too by bowling in the right areas. It will be interesting in future when teams start taking note – Perera will need to work on his game to survive. Remember, at this stage his role is that of a support bowler, so there’s a long way to go before he leads the attack. But he has every reason to be proud of what he has achieved and captain Mahela Jayawardene has every reason to trust him.

How does a talented young cricketer who does not go to a popular Colombo school or an outstation government/semi-private school launch his career? The way the current system is in place, if you go to a school that does not take part in the inter-school cricket tournaments they don’t get recognised by clubs. Under the current system, how can any young player become a professional cricketer to eventually become a national player? – Shan James Thurairajah.

It doesn’t matter what school you go to or if you play school cricket. You can just walk into the offices of any club and request to join. The under-23 club tournament is a good place to start. It’s always easier to be spotted in school cricket, as it’s natural that once people hear your name they will always look out for you and it does make it easier. The more popular schools also have better facilities to help a young cricketer. But I do not agree that clubs shut you down if you are not recognised. What we used to aim at a younger age was to score more than the others. If you take the newspapers and go through the scores, there will be many 50s and a few hundreds. But if you can score 150, then the people who matter tend to notice you. Good performances and perseverance is the way to go.

Why was Chaminda Vaas never recalled back to the Sri Lankan side when our bowling attack was pathetic and he was doing so well in county cricket? – Dinelka Balasuriya.

With Sri Lanka looking to the future, it is a tough call to go back to Vaas. When building a team for the future, you need to ignore results for a certain period and concentrate on giving exposure to the younger guys who you back to give you results over a longer period. The philosophy changed and building a squad for the future is the goal. And unfortunately, considering his age, Vaas was not going to be around for much long. In England, you also find seamer-friendly conditions that help medium pacers but conditions are more trying elsewhere. Vaas had dropped in pace and that was not going to suit the type of bowler Sri Lanka were looking for. It would have made sense to turn to Vaas if he was going to be the spearhead. But with the bowlers SL have, giving him a supporting role is not ideal. Considering where Vaas is in his career, it’s a better investment to go with a younger player.

Why do you think Suraj Randiv is not considered for ODIs? – Upuli Jayasinghe.

It’s a tough time for Sri Lanka as they plan ahead for the 2015 World Cup and that too in alien conditions in Australia and New Zealand. In those bouncy conditions, it’s likely that only one spinner will be used – if Sri Lanka have a wrist spinner in the mix it would be ideal. In addition, with Tillakaratne Dilshan able to give you a few overs of decent off spin it is an opportunity to experiment in finding that ‘X Factor’. It’s true that Randiv has not had an extended run and he also has performed decently. But Sri Lanka at this stage are looking for options with the World Cup in mind and rightly so. The door is not closed though.

Considering the player Sanath Jayasuriya turned out to be, do you think Thisara Perera should be given a chance to open? – Samuel Thomas.

It’s far too early to even think of it. Perera is turning into a great all rounder but he is good in certain situations as a batsman. Sri Lanka have been smart in utilising him in the middle order in that manner. I think he should be left to do that while he matures. I still don’t rate him highly against pace and asking him to open with two new balls at both ends may not be the smartest of moves. Looking at how he has improved in all aspects of the game, I would not rule out that option in the future though.

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© Island Cricket

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