I’m sure Im not the only one having this feeling when it comes to being a Sri Lankan Cricket Fan, buut, over the past couple of ODI series, Ajantha Mendis has not been at his peek. I was reading a couple of articles and also looked at a few of his stats. During the entire Pakistan series, Mendis was only able to bag 4 wickets. I don’t want to take anything away from the opening bowlers (Kulesekera & Thushara) that did do most of the damage, but you just got the sense that Mendis was not at his peak.
Apart from the test series against Bangladesh, Mendis has struggled in terms of consistency. During one of the games I watched, Shakib from Bangladesh negotiated Mendis very well. You’d expect that to be a one off incident, but during the Pakistan series, this seemed to be the same concern. Now I don’t want to jump to conclusions, I also may be too early to judge Mendis’s performance over the past few weeks, but still feel that there’s something missing.
Against India. Ajantha Mendis’s figures are really good. He has played an overall 6 Matches and bagged 19 wickets at and average of 8.68. Thats a wicket every 16 odd deliveries. Looking at that, I would say Mendis is really confortable against them, especially when it comes to the Indian Middle order and Yuvraj Singh. But 2 batsmen who have prity much negotiated him well are Sewag and Gambir. How Mendis tackles them or how they tackle Mendis will be a very interesting part of this series. I know the Indians have done their homework, and with regards to Mendis, (giggle) im sure they have played his video’s over and over and over again.
They say Sachin Tendulkar will also be a dominating factor, but honestly, Im more intimidated of seeing Sewag and Gambir face Mendis than Tendulkar. However, I would never play down the threat he poses against any side as he is one of the greats of the circketing world.
Its going to be a very interesting series against the Indians. I hope the headlines on cricinfo and other websites read "Sri Lanka destroys the Indians" 😀 but thats yet to be seen. With their current form, I think this is a close contest based on the fact that India have not played cricket for over a month. On the eve before the first one day, I wish the Sri Lankan team all the best, and India, BREAK A LEG! – literally, I mean it!! 🙂