New Delhi. In international cricket, this player was known as ‘Mystery Bowler’. His playing skills were considered iron in the whole world. After all, why not, the record of taking 6-6 wickets twice in an innings in ODIs and T20Is is in his name. He is the only bowler in the world to take 6 wickets twice in T20Is, despite this strong record, Sri Lanka’s Ajantha Mendis played very few matches in his international career. Between starting his international career in April 2008 and retiring in August 2019, he could play only 19 Tests, 87 ODIs and 39 T20Is. It can be said that if the career of this right-arm spin bowler was not ‘eclipsed’ by injuries, he could have taken wickets.
In international cricket, the carrom ball first came into limelight because of Mendis. Later Ravichandran Ashwin of India adopted it. Mendis took 70 wickets in 19 Tests at an average of 34.77, 152 wickets in 87 ODIs at an average of 21.86 and 66 wickets in 39 T20Is at an average of 14.42 (economy 6.45), which shows his playing skills.
Strong figures in all three ODIs, T20s and Tests
Apart from taking 6 wickets in an innings twice in ODI cricket, Mendis also took 5 wickets once. Seven times in this format, he managed to take 4 wickets in an innings. In Test matches, he took 6 wickets in an innings thrice and 5 wickets once. Once he took 10 or more wickets in ‘red ball’ cricket. Talking about T20Is, he has done wonders for taking six wickets in an innings twice and taking 4 wickets three times. This right-arm spinner due to his variations Used to prove to be an inexplicable puzzle for the opposition batters.
In his first Test series against India, he realized his potential by taking 26 wickets in three Test matches. The record of taking the fastest 50 wickets in ODIs is in the name of Mendis, he did this feat in just 19 matches. The importance of his record can be understood from the fact that he is the second fastest to take 50 wickets in ODIs. K bowler Sandeep Lamichhane of Nepal had to play 22 matches and third number bowler Ajit Agarkar of India had to play 23 matches for this.
The last international match was played in 2015
Mendis played his last international match as an ODI in December 2015, after which he could not play for Sri Lanka again. In August 2019, he announced his retirement from all formats of cricket. Reacting to Mendis’ retirement, Sri Lankan cricket legend Angelo Mathews said, “Congratulations on a short but illustrious career. Unfortunately injuries kept you away but God is kind and will open many avenues for you.”
FIRST PUBLISHED : June 14, 2023, 15:32 IST