Ajantha Mendis made his way into the SriLankan team after some impressive outings for the SriLankan army in the domestic tournament. He, then took the world by surprise by some of the his unseen variations, something that earned him the name of “Mystery Spinner”. SriLanka seemed to have found a spinner who over shadowed Murali, but it was not to be. All his variations got picked by the oppositions and he got kicked out of the team.
But, he came back strongly , atleast in the limited overs if not in Test cricket. The SriLankan team management got a bit smarter, using him wisely and only in key matches . He was seen being dropped even after match winning performances.
But, it was mainly the sub continent teams who out played him. The western teams still found it hard to face him and it was this that the SriLankan management used to their profit.His 6 for 16 against the Aussies is arguably the best T20 spell in International cricket.
With all his variations, including the new ones he has developed recently, it will be hard to score heavily against him and especially for the Western teams.With his carrom ball( modified one), he can run through any batting line up . Even Ravi Bopara has expressed him and Malinga as the potential threats in the SriLankan bowling line up.
The fact that the Bangladeshi pitches are going to assist his style of bowling , he can be the guy who can single handedly win it for SriLanka, like he did in the 2008 Asia Cup. With SriLankan batting coming good now, he will have a good total to defend as that is where he is most dangerous. One cannot afford to hit him , mainly when has not played him much before. The present squads of the tems have not faced him much and this could be critical to SriLanka’s chances in the tournament.
Overall, SriLankan chances will rely heavily on the spin duo of Mendis and Senanayake. Watch out for this duo along with the slinger Malinga as SriLanka will try to create history by winning the tournament twice and a farewell to their 2 legends from T20 cricket.