A brisk fast-medium bowler, Shaminda Eranga's ODI and Test debuts were both spectacular: in his first ODI, against Australia in 2011, he needed only two balls to make an impact, bowling Brad Haddin through the gate. An even more memorable dismissal followed, when Ricky Ponting failed to read his slower ball and pushed back a return catch. He then made his Test debut against the same opposition, and became only the second Sri Lankan bowler to strike with his very first delivery, when he dismissed Shane Watson.
He was laid low by a nerve-related back injury soon after his arrival at international cricket, but after nine months on the sidelines returned to the national side to take a wicket in his first over in Twenty20 internationals, completing an unprecedented treble. He has since made himself a mainstay in the Test attack, and despite his inexperience, is often called to spearhead the pacemen, when Chanaka Welegedara is absent through injury.
Eranga was discovered at an all-island pace bowling competition in 2006 by former Sri Lanka medium pacer Champaka Ramanayake and Anusha Samaranayake. Their discovery led to his being picked for the Chilaw Marians and eventually the division-one premier league tournament, which in turn led to a place in the Sri Lanka development squad.
He made his debut for Sri Lanka A in 2010 and following good performances on a tour of England in 2011, was flown back to Sri Lanka to be part of the national side, a move which fetched immediate results.