Sri Lanka’s Mendis an unusual spinner, says Dhoni

DAMBULLA, August 18, 2008 (AFP) – India one-day captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday conceded it was not easy to read Sri Lanka’s unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis. “When you are playing Mendis, you have to save wickets and get runs as well. It gets a bit tough. Even Murali (Muttiah Muralitharan) was difficult some time back, but Mendis is a bit more unusual than him,” said Dhoni.

Mendis played a key role in his team’s eight-wicket win over India in the first one-dayer of the five-match series here, finishing with 3-21 off nine overs to restrict the tourists to 146.

Sri Lanka achieved the modest target with more than 15 overs to spare, with the man-of-the-match award going to Mendis.

“It’s difficult to pick him (Mendis). He is a very different bowler. Even if you pick him, by the time you realise what ball it is, it gets really late to play a big shot,” said Dhoni.

“In one-day cricket, it is not only about playing him but also rotating the strike because you don’t want a bowler to end up with 10 overs for 20 runs. We need to find a way to rotate the strike.

“I have not seen any bowler like him. He is an unusual bowler. The only optio