13/11/2009

India vs. Lanka: Ajantha Mendis 'effect'

Ajantha Mendis was effective when the Indian cricket team toured Sri Lanka last year. So effective was he with his ‘carom ball’ that he ran rings around accomplished batsman like Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar.

In fact he proved to be the game changer and helped Sri Lanka win the series. Rahul Dravid, who have seen off threats from the great Shane Warne , was completely befuddled by Ajantha Mendis.

The trial run of the ‘referral system’ helped Mendis no end. The Indian cricketer, a reluctant adapter, was at the receiving end of a few borderline decisions. So Mendis with his exotic ‘delivery’ proved lethal and was hailed too quickly if one might add as  successor: to the maverick bowling legend, Muthiah Muralitharan.

However, his effectiveness diminished against the Indian ODI team, which had some young Turks. So much so, a relative new comer to International cricket, Virat Kohli, was pulling his ‘carom ball’ to the boundary with impunity.

Sadly, for Mendis, his potency went southwards after the historic debut Test series against India.
This brings us back to the question we were exploring: will Ajantha Mendis prove as effective in India as he was in Sri Lanka?

The answer for that is a resounding no. But with a caveat, he may prove lethal in ODI’s and Twenty20 matches where batsmen have to play more instinctively than in the Tests.
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