Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pakistan & the Ajantha Mendis Threat

The Pakistanis have landed in Colombo, where they play a 3-day game against a Sri Lankan XI from tomorrow, before they head to Galle for the 1st test next week.

The series that was left incomplete by some twisted men in Lahore, will now continue in the island over the next month.

After the IPL and the World T20, I am finally ready to end my affair with T20 cricket and shift all my focus and attention to the purest and longest version of the game.

Here I start by focusing on the potential threat, or rather the lack of, that Ajantha Mendis poses for Pakistan in the 3-test series.

The Ajantha Mendis threat doesn't really exist for Pakistan.

Well prepared, planned, worked-out, thought-out or not; Pakistan has surely figured out how to cope against Mendis' variations.

Moreso than any other team anyway.

The numbers are there for everyone to see and they tell the entire story.

The most telling statistic in that table is the economy rate - it shows that Pakistan scores almost 1 more run per over against Mendis in ODIs than other teams do.

That figure increases to 3 more runs per over in T20Is!

Definitely the Pakistanis are doing something right, something that other teams are not; there is no doubt that they have played Mendis better than their contemporaries.

But how?

Some say they treat him like a medium pacer, others say they pick him of the hand; what it is exactly that the Pakistanis are doing right, I have no idea!

It doesn't matter really.

As long as they continue doing it right, Mendis will not be a threat to Pakistan - not in tests, not in ODIs, not in the T20I.

Hence, as I said. The Ajantha Mendis threat; it doesn't exist for Pakistan.


I don't buy the "flat track" story for the test against Pakistan, because in the same match, Kaneria bowled 46 overs for 3 wickets; Shoaib Malik bowled 36 for 2 wickets; while Mendis bowled 59 for his 1.

And what hindrance is a flat track anyway for a bowler with so many subtle variations?

Make your pitch on this post...

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9 Pitched:

  1. Krish said...

    I am generally skeptical of Mendis being a long-term threat to any team. There has been a lot of hype, but once teams (India, Pakistan) have figured him out, he has been ineffective. Also once he has been taken for runs, he is unable to make a comeback in the same match.

  2. Anonymous said...

    yes i agree. Mendis would be a threat to teams who havent played him anytime.

    Concur with Krish.

    India struggled against him in ODI and then Test series. but then in 2 subsequent ODI series he was figured out and he couldnt repeat his success. he got wickets but his economy rate went up.

    Ditto for pakistan. Soon Australia would figure him out too. And likes of WI, England and BD would keep falling to him as they have been doing to Murali.

  3. Stani Army said...

    Would you be able to separate the "others" so we can see if we've had more chance to get used to him than the other nations.

    I don't think we have played him more than all the others. We're the best players of spin. I think it's as simple as that.

  4. Q said...


    Thats true. Many people said that once the mystery is solved he will become ineffective.. I think we are already witnessing that..

  5. Q said...


    Yep true.

    He will truly have to re-invent himself to be as effective as he was...

  6. Q said...



    3 vs Ind, 1 vs Bang.


    10 vs Ind, 6 vs Zim, 4 vs Bang, 3 vs WI, 1 vs UAE


    2 vs WI, 1 each vs Aus, WI, Can, Ire, Zim.

  7. Q said...


    despite that other teams have also figured him out, his record is far better against other countries than against Pakistan...

  8. Gaurav Sethi said...

    A hunch: he'll do much, much better this time around. They're in Lanka, might even have half a dozen more variations, bowl with his mouth. Picture that. If the ball doesn't get the batsmen, the laughter will, and so the term laughing assassin will come to pass.

  9. Q said...


    He might considering he's at home..

    Through the mouth? That'll be some sight!

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