Sri Lanka levelled the Test series with a thumping win in the second Test against Australia. While the win and the margin of it is a talking point in itself, there were two players who overshadowed everyone else with their quality performances. One was the veteran Dinesh Chandimal, who made a sensational 204, the highest of any Sri Lanka batter against Australia. The other individual was the debutant Prabath Jayasuriya.
The story of Jayasuriya is mightily impressive; it is not often that a player makes his international Test debut after turning but that is what the left-arm spinner has done. Turning, 31 in a few months, the Sri Lankan bowler not only made his debut but broke many records in the very first match itself.
His bowling figure of 12 for 177 is the best bowling figure for Sri Lanka on debut. It is also the second-best bowling figure by a Sri Lankan against Australia. Only Rangana Herath with 13 for 145 has done better than the debutant.
Jayasuriya’s rise and eventual induction to the Sri Lankan national side has been filled with many setbacks. After making a debut in ODI way back in 2018, the spinner was dropped from the team later on. He played two ODI matches but remained wicketless in both of them. Now 30-year-old, the spinner had to wait more than three years to get a callback.
His inclusion this time around has come due to the outbreak of COVID in the Sri Lanka camp. Four players had to sit out with COVID from the second Test match. Having gotten his opportunity so late, it was necessary for Jayasuriya to perform in this match and fortunately, he didn’t disappoint! His bowling figure of 6-118 and 6-59 totally outfoxed the Australian batters. All of them felt uncomfortable while facing the quality deliveries of Prabath Jayasuriya, and fell like Autumn leaves. Having made a sensational debut, the left-arm spinner has emerged as a hidden gem and thus, has wowed everyone with his brilliance.