Major teams Sri Lanka, Asia XI, Sinhalese Sports Club
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak
Atapattu is one of the stronger players of the Sri Lankan Cricket team. Even of a lifeless pitch he is a master of the percentage game. His alertness is a useful counterpoint to the risks taken by Sanath Jayasuriya, his opening partner almost throughout his Test career. Though it took nearly seven years to establish his career he has scored six double-hundreds in his career so far. He is an elegant player to watch with his signature shot being the high-elbow cover-drive.
For three years he stood as Jayasuriya's standby before being appointed to lead the one-day side in April 2003. In early April 2004 he was appointed as the Test captain. Within weeks he established himself as a strong leader. On the surface he is a quiet and reserved character, his captaincy pedigree was not entirely obvious to the outsider. By mid-2004 the fortunes of the team had changed as Sri Lanka won the Asia Cup and whitewashed South Africa.