Dhammika Prasad is a promising member of Sri Lanka’s fast bowling fraternity. Although he debuted for the national side back in 2006, Prasad, like many Sri Lankan quicks, has struggled to maintain his spot in the team.
Prasad started his junior career as a batsman, and although he is now predominantly a bowler, his former skills remain obvious. Playing for Sinhalese SC and Basnahira North, Prasad has enjoyed a healthy First Class career with both bat and ball. His 78 appearances have yielded 208 wickets at an impressive strike rate of 46.6. With a stack of five wicket hauls, and a ten-for, Prasad was always going to be a candidate for a national call-up. Throw in a handy batting average of 21.18 and Prasad’s form could not be ignored any longer.
His ODI debut came in 2006 against Bangladesh, where Prasad claimed two wickets in as many balls to leave himself on a hat-trick. Although he didn’t get the glory, it was still a fantastic start to his career. Similar to Shaminda Eranga, Prasad’s immediate future was hampered by an ongoing back problem that saw him sidelined for the best part of a year.
When he returned in 2008, Prasad had altered his bowling style to accommodate the changing needs of international cricket. His ODI game now featured a range of yorkers and slower balls, while his length had also improved in the longer forms of the game.
His introduction to Test cricket was worth the wait, with Prasad starring in Sri Lanka’s eight wicket win over India. The debutant removed Virender Sehwag twice, as well as the key wickets of Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. Although slightly expensive, it was a wonderful display from the youngster.
Unfortunately, Prasad has been a victim of the revolving door policy that has plagued Sri Lankan fast bowlers. While he has been able to feature in the odd game here and there, Prasad hasn’t been able to knuckle down a spot on a consistent basis. His performances have been anything but poor, so one feels that a solid showing in Australia could be the spark he needs to launch what could be a memorable career.