Sehwag toughest Indian batsman: Mendis

Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis says Virender Sehwag was the only Indian batsman he found difficult to bowl to in the recently-concluded series.

updated: September 09, 2008 06:47 IST
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New Delhi:

Virender Sehwag's technique or the lack of it often invites criticism but Sri Lankan mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis says the swashbuckling right-hander was the only Indian batsman he found difficult to bowl to in the recently-concluded Test and ODI series.

"There was not much of a difference in bowling to most of the Indian batsmen. Their style was similar. But Virender Sehwag was the toughest to bowl to without doubt," Mendis, who picked up Indian wickets in heaps in both the Test and ODI series, told a cricket website.

The Lankans won the Test series 2-1 but lost the ODI series 2-3 but Mendis said he found no difference in the batting style of the two Indian sides.

He said the only reason why he failed to replicate his stupendous Test form in ODIs was the lesser number of overs he bowled in the shorter version of the game.

"There wasn't really much of a difference between the two sides. It was more or less the same for me. My problem in one-dayers was that there were only 10 overs to bowl and it is very difficult to take wickets in that limited time," he said.

Mendis, however, admitted that gradually the Indians and other international teams would learn to read him and he is prepared to cope with that.

"As time has passed since I first bowled to them this team which is one of the best in the world is beginning to understand me. Also other teams must be trying to understand my bowling.

"But I know that as long as I do the correct thing I will take wickets. If I can't then I will change my style," he said.

Mendis he has grown in confidence after the series against India during which he got prized scalps of likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.

"I feel very happy to be bowling to the best batsmen in the world. After bowling to Tendulkar, (Sourav) Ganguly, Dravid, (VVS) Laxman and (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni how can I not be confident? If I can take their wicket, then I can take anyone's wicket in the world," he said.

On how he planned Tendulkar's dismissal, Mendis said, "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."

Asked whether Dhoni was the other tough customer after Sehwag, Mendis said, "I think he batted very well against me. When I put the ball in the right area he defended me."

"But the moment I put the ball outside that area he punished me. It was an interesting cat and mouse game. That's why he succeeded more than anyone else against me," he added.

Mendis is now aiming to do well against World Champions Australia.

"No special batsman as such but I want to bowl to the Australians. They have some great batsmen in their ranks and I am waiting to bowl at them," he said.