Dhoni wary of ~~Mendis the enigma~~ for Lanka tour

Published: Monday, July 7, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Lankan finger spinner Ajantha Mendis's variations are difficult to read, says India skipper DhoniKarachi: India's ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the unorthodox Lankan finger spinner Ajantha Mendis will provide the sternest of tests for his side during their upcoming tour of the island nation.

''He (Mendis) just outdid us. None of our batsmen read him properly,'' Dhoni said after the Asia Cup final.

''He is a difficult bowler and we will have to prepare ourselves for him in the coming series,'' he added.

Playing in just his eighth international, Mendis used a dizzying array of deliveries to rip through the Indian batting order with figures of 6/13 as the Islanders eased to a 100-run victory in the Asia Cup final.

Playing against Mendis for the first time in the final, Dhoni said his batsmen failed to read the bowler because of his unique variations and grip.

''We play Kumble more often it is the fast delivery that tends to come in that is lethal. But if you are playing Mendis most of the time when he flights the ball it is a googly or off-spinner,'' he explained. ''When he bowls a flatter one it is generally a leg-spinner and if you play inside the line for turn you will be in trouble.''

Dhoni felt that playing Test matches first will work to the advantage of the Indians with the batsmen getting ample time to figure Mendis out before the one-day series begins.

''The good thing is that we will be playing the Test matches first and we have experienced batsmen in the Test side,'' Dhoni stated.

''The burden of scoring off him quickly will not be there and we will get time to get used to him.''

India announce their Test squad on Wednesday and are expected to be boosted by the return of the experienced batting trio of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly.

Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene, who marshalled his bowling resources in a measured way in Cup finals, said Mendis had given his team more options and was the perfect foil for the experienced Muralitharan.

"You can never discount Murali but Mendis is a confident bowler and he knows what he wants," Jayawardene said.

"He is something new and he gives us more options to attack as he can be used in different ways."


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