Mahela banking on Mendis to clinch Asia Cup

Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene said he is banking on spin sensation Ajantha Mendis to tame Indian big-hitters in the Asia Cup final on Sunday.

updated: July 09, 2008 17:11 IST
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Wary of an in-form Indian batting line-up, Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene on Saturday said he is banking on spin sensation Ajantha Mendis to tame big-hitters like Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir in the Asia Cup summit clash on Sunday.

"Mendis is a big game player and he has the ability to play well in big matches and we will be counting on him in the final," Jayawardene said.

He made it clear that if Sri Lanka are to retain the Asian champions title, they would have to bowl out the Indian team as it was next to impossible to contain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men.

"Indian batsmen are in great form and to win the final we need to get them out," he said.

Sri Lanka, who are playing in their eight Asia Cup final, didn't field Mendis against India in the league match that the latter won comfortably.

The idea clearly was to retain the surprise element of his bowling for the more important final.

"Mendis is a good young bowler and it is good he is playing with Muralitharan whose experience will help him a lot in a big match," Jayawardene said.

"We just have to play to our strengths and do the things right. We have to execute our plans well," he added.

He predicted a high-scoring final pointing out that so far the batsmen had dominated the tournament due to flat tracks.

"I don't know which pitch they will use but they have used four surfaces in the event and all of themhave been good for batting. Obviously there will be some wear and tear but I think the batsmen will have a role to play again," he said.