Rookie Chameera set on pace and accuracy
Dushmantha Chameera is only 23 and is already being spoken of as the quickest of the Sri Lankan bowlers playing in the 2015 World Cup. He can clock speeds of more than 140kph and it was with one such delivery - 146kph - that he took the wicket of Ross Taylor on his ODI debut against New Zealand in Wellington.
"From my small days I wanted to be a fast bowler," Chameera said. "No one in my family plays cricket it is something that came naturally to me. Brett Lee is my hero and I have been following him very closely."
Last Wednesday, Chameera was picked to play his first World Cup match, against Scotland in Hobart, and he took 3 for 51.
"The pitches here give a lot of assistance to the fast bowlers and I am happy that I got a chance to play on a pitch of that type," he said. "The pitch was not as fast as the others which I played on but if you bowl a consistent line you can get wickets. I took wickets from slow balls and variations."
For variation Chameera bowls the offcutter and the legcutter, and also uses the yorker and the bouncer.
A product of Harischandra Vidyalaya Negombo, Chameera began his cricket at the age of 11. After sitting for his O-level exams he moved to Maris Stella College Negombo, a school that produced another former Sri Lanka fast bowler Graeme Labrooy.
Chameera played for the first XI team and once his talent was spotted he was soon picked in the Sri Lanka Development Squad. He then progressed to Sri Lanka A and subsequently to the senior side.
"I worked a lot with fast bowling coaches Champaka Ramanayake and Anusha Samaranayake and now with Chaminda Vaas," Chameera said. "I used to bowl fast at the beginning but they advised me to concentrate and try and bowl six balls on the same spot, line and length, because once you come to this level that's how you can move forward."
Chameera, a tall and slim bowler, has not yet got the opportunity to open the bowling. "I have been told to bowl as fast as I can. In the match against Scotland, Lasith (Malinga) told me that I should bowl according to the match situation and he told me what to do."
Chameera said he was happy to be in the company of players as Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Malinga. "Some of them are retiring after the World Cup so I could consider myself lucky that I at least had the opportunity to be with them and experience what it is to be in such company."