Mendis now works only on the basics

Apr 06, 2013, 03:47 IST | Shreeram Prasad

It's been nearly five years since the world first saw Sri Lankan mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis. Not many were picking him off the hand, very few were picking him off the pitch. Five years down the line, most of the batsmen around the world have figured him out.

However, no one quite knows whether to call him a right-arm off-spinner or a leg-spinner. In Mendis’ own words, he is a mixture of everything.

Ajantha Mendis
Ajantha Mendis

“Priority is to take the ball away from the batsman. So if the batsman is right-handed, then I am a leg-spinner, if the batsman is a lefty, then I am an off-spinner,” the 28-year-old, who is part of the Pune Warriors India squad for the IPL-6, said.

Does that also mean having two stock deliveries instead of one? “Yes,” Mendis added. “Again it depends on the batsman. I have different stock balls for different batsman,” he said, followed by a big smile.

The mystery is probably gone now, and batsman have seen enough videos of him to know what he is bowling. But Mendis still believes in doing his basics right. “For me, any ball bowled on a good length is a good ball.

Batsman still has to hit it (whether he is picking me or not). Variations of spin as well as pace will depend on conditions, batsman, situation,” he explained.

Mendis was not part of the 15-member squad that traveled to Hyderabad for PWI’s IPL-6 opener on Friday. But head coach Allan Donald believes that Mendis will have a role to play this season.

“I know people have sorted him out. But he still is a quality cricketer. In certain conditions, Mendis will be a factor. Especially considering that he has to bowl a four-over spell, not 10 overs. He is definitely not a write off,” Donald said. 

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