Ajantha Mendis's Comment: Now This Is Called Immaturity

arun prasContributor ISeptember 10, 2008

The latest spinning sensation, Ajantha Mendis of Sri lanka, is no doubt an excellent find and a great talent. But as with most of the so called "overnight success" guys, he too seems to be immature. In a recent interview, he says the following:

"I had been learning about the batting styles of the Indian batsmen for some time. I understood Tendulkar's batting style and understood his weakness. That's how I took his wicket."

Now...you have to think before making such a statement.

Well, what the most dreaded, exceptional, fiery, intelligent, and great bowlers of the past and present era, could not accomplish in the last 20 years, the new kid has managed to do it in a single series! He has not only found out the Master Blaster's weakness, but has also understood it.

Even the phenomenal Murali or Shane Warne would have not made such a comment. I mean it's a sweeping statement. If finding out and understanding Sachin's weakness were so easy, then he would not have become such a great batsman. There is a clear cut difference between picking up a wicket by "Working on a Plan" and "Taking advantage of the batsman's weakness."

What Mendis should have said is the former. A batsman may be very good playing outside the offstump. But a plan can be worked out by bowling outside the offstump continuously with a predominantly offside set field, hoping that the batsman makes a mistake. That's called working on a plan. If the batsman gets out it cannot be said that its his weakness. The plan may or may not work.

But working on a batsman's weakness is entirely different. For example, Yuvraj Singh is a very good batsman. But bring on a decent spinner, nine out of 10 times he'll struggle. That's his weakness.

To sum it up, moving a little away from the topic, I feel Mendis is over-hyped at this stage. Its true that he has excellent variety and can bowl six totally different deliveries in a single over. He probably has even more variations in his kitty. Looks like he can turn out to be a good sportsman. But only time will tell if he can be consistent enough to be called as a great.

I mean, media is going crazy about him and has already branded him as the next Murali. Come on, give him a break. He is just one series old and he needs much more time to develop into a great spinner. Numerous examples can be quoted about one series or one season wonders. Only very few spinners have actually lasted the test of time (Read: Warne, Muralitharan, Vettori, Kumble and a few more).

So I feel he has to concentrate more on his bowling, rather than making such sweeping statements.

What do you guys make of him. Is he worth the hype? Pour in your views and correct me if I have gone wrong somewhere.