'Mystery' spinner is back after back injury forced him out of the game
Sri Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis is looking forward to getting back to international action during the ICC World T20 following a long spell on the sidelines.
A back injury sustained during the tour of South Africa means the slow bowler has not represented his country since January 2012.
The 27-year-old only returned to competitive action last month in the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) but insists he is ready to make a mark on the WT20.
Mendis said: “I was out for about nine months. I did what was required to get well and have trained hard during the last three months. I had a good SLPL and I am well-prepared for the tournament.”The Moratuwa-born cricketer revealed he has needed to undergo a change of bowling action to compensate for his injury problem, a method that he has tried out domestically over the last few weeks."
“I struggled with my off-spin,” said Mendis. “Because of injury I had to change the action a lot and now I bowl the off-spin with a bit of a different action. I tried the off-spin during the SLPL and it worked well for me as I got wickets.”
Mendis has bequeathed his former position as Sri Lanka’s mystery spinner to 18-year-old Akila Dananjaya, who was a surprise inclusion in the WT20 squad after just six professional games – all in the recent SLPL.
The senior man is confident Dananjaya will fare well if called upon.
“I hope he will have a good campaign,” said Mendis. “Both of our styles look the same. You don’t have to worry when you are led by a guy like Mahela [Jayawardena]. You can bowl without any worry. I think he is in good hands. When Mahela is the captain he gives you attacking field settings and the things that he comes and says to you are very handy. You can bowl without any fear.”