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'Mendis no longer a threat to Indian batsmen'

Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis is no longer a threat for Indian batsmen who have now learnt to tackle the mystery bowler, star off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said

cricket Updated: Jan 29, 2009 19:46 IST
PTI
Mendis no longer a threat to Indian batsmen: Harbhajan

Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis is no longer a threat for Indian batsmen who have now learnt to tackle the mystery bowler, star off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said on Thursday.

"During last year's tour Mendis was no doubt a real threat to India. But the Indian batsmen have now learnt to tackle him, which was proved in yesterday's first match of the ODI series where Mendis proved a flop," said Harbhajan, who missed out on the tour of the Emerald Islands owing to a hamstring injury.

"Our team can handle anyone under any conditions and it was a great work done by captain (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni and the bowlers, who restricted Sri Lanka to 246 despite Jayasuriya's century," Harbhajan said, appreciating the contributions made by Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina in the match, besides Dhoni himself.

The star off-spinner felt yesterday's victory in Dambulla was a major step as Dhoni's men attempt to become the number one team in the world.

The first job for India would be to win the ODI series in Sri Lanka and then defeat New Zealand at their own backyard.

However, he conceded defeating Sri Lanka in the second ODI at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo will be a challenging task for Dhoni's team.

"Sri Lanka have a very good winning record on that ground where they have bounced back from seemingly difficult position in the past," said Harbhajan, who was here as chief guest in a cricket tournament organised in the memory of his late father Sardev Singh.