'Mendis not the only threat for India'
The Sri Lankan attack is not all about Ajantha Mendis and it would be fatal to focus only on the mystery spinner ignoring others, warns Rahul Dravid.cricket Updated: Jul 21, 2008 21:18 IST
The Sri Lankan attack is not all about Ajantha Mendis and it would be fatal to focus only on the mystery spinner ignoring others, warns former India captain Rahul Dravid.
Talking to reporters ahead of the first Test, which gets underway in Colombo on Wednesday, Dravid did not doubt the threat Mendis can pose to his teammates but said it would be a folly to underestimate old warhorses Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas.
"Sure, Mendis is going to be one of their four or five bowlers, but you cannot just focus on him," Dravid said.
"They have got a couple of other guys (Muralitharan and Vaas) who have got 1000 wickets between them," he said.
"It will be a mistake to focus just on Mendis. We will just play it as we see it. We have come against a lot of bowlers in our times and we have succeeded against them," said Dravid, oozing confidence that the visitors would read the freak spinner, who recently ran through India's ODI squad in the Asia Cup final.
According to Dravid, though the Lankan attack would miss Lasith Malinga, Ferveez Maharoof and Dilhara Fernando owing to injuries, it's still a potent attack.
"But I faced him (Gleeson) in the second innings. I carefully saw Gleeson's wrist movement at the time of delivery and he became predictable, as I could easily score runs against him -- even scored five-six boundaries against him," Viswanath said.
Refusing to compare Mendis with fellow Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan, Viswanath said, "It's too early to compare Mendis with somebody who has 700-plus Test wickets in his kitty. Eight-ODI-old Mendis is yet to play a Test..." remarked the veteran of 91 Tests and 25 one-day Internationals.
Asked his opinion about the controversial 'switch hit' tactic used by England's Kevin Pietersen, the master batsman said it's not "advisable".
"I won't advise the youngsters to switch hit but if somebody (likes Pietersen) wishes to play the shot, and is doing it with finesse, he's free to play. I'm not against it either," Viswanath said.
Pietersen hit two sixes after changing his stance to left-handed and experts are still divided on whether the shot was in keeping with the spirit of the game.
On the ICC's referral system, Viswanath said the experiment is good for the game.
"It's a nice initiative (by the ICC). I'm hopeful that it will take off during the India-Lanka series."