Fast bowling Coach Champaka Ramanayake says youngster Lahiru Kumara has the capabilities of bowling 150 kmph.
19 year old Kumara has been impressive over the past few months for Sri Lanka.
He had an excellent run in the Under-19 team, and played for the national team during the tour of Zimbabwe. During the 2nd Test match in South Africa, Kumara’s third overall, he collected the best-ever figures for a Sri Lanka fast bowler in the country, and also became the second-youngest Sri Lankan to claim a five-wicket haul. He was clocked at nearly 145kph at Newlands.
Commenting on the efforts, bowling coach Ramanayake said, Kumara always had pace. Ramanayake said, “He’ll bowl 150 very soon. He’s just 19-plus and he’s learning. The pace has come from genetics, so he’s always had that. But if he keeps improving general fitness, strengthening and conditioning work, he will get there. Especially when you’re at 23 or 24, your body becomes fully matured. That’s the time they’ll bowl fast.”
Kumara had also been in Sri Lanka’s age-group teams for at least four years, touring Malaysia with the Under-15 side, before graduating to the Under-19 team in 2014, aged 17.
His breakthrough series had been in England last year, where he claimed 11 for 134 in a Youth Test in Northampton.
With Kumara’s emergence, Sri Lanka now have two quicks who may potentially operate in the high 145-150kph range. Chameera, who suffered a stress fracture in May last year, had previously bowled as fast as 149kph on a tour of New Zealand.
However he was a long way from his best on his Test return at Port Elizabeth, but Ramanayake said he is confident the pace will return in time.
The duo is expected to be included in the final Test match against South Africa to be played from Thursday.