Jeevan Mendis is not a good legspinner.
I say that as a bad legspinner. We can smell our own.
His action is forced, his front arm doesn’t help him, and he sort of slings the ball down in a way that means he has trouble aiming in line or length.
But he tries really hard and he’s not an idiot.
Every really good team has a Jeevan Mendis.
Mendis is Steve Kerr, Shane Kerrison or James Hopes of this Sri Lankan team. The man who can do a little bit of everything, who enjoys training, who makes everyone feel good because they’re more talented than him, smiles a lot and is a decent dude.
In this game he came in to bat as the owners of the crab restaurant disappeared. It was consolidation time.
Most batsmen, especially one who is not yet an automatic selection, would have worked their way into the innings, thinking of themselves and what the replay will look like when they go out.
People like Mendis don’t really think that way.
They just want to get the job done and help out where they can.
Mendis is not a pretty batsman. He tries to hit every ball so hard it hurts your eyes after a while, but England didn’t expect an all out attack and instead of keeping Sri Lanka down to a manageable total.
18 off 13 is not an innings you tell your kids about, but it’s the sort of innings that someone like Mendis does to help his team to victory.
When he bowled he started with a short ball, one ball massively outside leg stump, a couple of half volleys, and clean bowled Ravi Bopara with a ball that was full and went straight. In that one over he ended with 1/5. That was his only over.
Ajantha Mendis, his favoured evil twin (not really, but I’m working on a script), bowled four overs for 40. In an earlier match Ajantha took 12 wickets or something.
In the final, I know who I’d prefer to have.
Result: KP gets smugger as Ravi packs his computer games and heads home.
Samit Patel was not mentioned in this blog.