Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Unravelling the Mendis mystery
The Hindu: It was Mahela Jayawardene’s press conference and mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis, who mixes up his off-breaks and googlies, ruled. The incessant queries about Mendis left Jayawardene a touch bemused in the press conference here on Sunday night.
Jayawardene stressed that the quirky spinner’s style has been allowed to blossom. “We encourage our cricketers to play their natural game. It helps that we have Murali around to guide Mendis, who is very talented.
“Right now, we are letting him do what he is most comfortable with. I do discuss field settings with him before a match in terms of the kind of field he needs for his different deliveries,” the Sri Lankan skipper added.
Laced with humour
What about his leg spin was the next query and Jayawardene cheekily replied, “Ah! does he bowl leg-spin?” And the skipper continued to patiently answer queries on Mendis, who bagged four wickets against Pakistan.
Jayawardene’s humour surfaced when asked about the back-to-back matches for both Sri Lanka and India in the STAR Cricket Asia Cup.
“I guess it is home advantage for Pakistan but we will make sure that the next time we have the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, we will give back-to-back matches for Pakistan,” Jayawardene said and laughed.
Jayawardene praised Kumar Sangakkara’s effort. “Sanga’s century was among the best I have seen. It was essential that one of us stayed all the way through. With Sanath leaving early and I getting dismissed while going for quick runs, it was important for Sanga to be there,” Jayawardene said.