Among spinners of this era, former Sri Lanka mystery tweaker Ajantha Mendis rates India's Kuldeep Yadav very highly. Mendis, who is into coaching now, talked up the requirements for a spinner to be successful in the modern-day game and found Kuldeep fitting the bill better than others.
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"As young spinners, they can come up with a lot of variation. That’s most important and the standard of the game has improved, so it’s important,” Mendis told Sportstar. "You need to know how to turn and maintain line and length. If you have two or three weapons, you can survive in international cricket."
On Kuldeep, Mendis said: “He has a lot of variation in his bowling and he is quite different from others. He is very impressive", adding that the 25-year-old wristspinner just needs to "practice more and work on his technique a bit to get back to the rhythm" having endured a dip in form in recent times.
Completely different bowlers but Kuldeep and Mendis share one thing in common. Like Kuldeep currently does, Mendis once played for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, an experience he recalled as "really special".
"I still remember the 2008 IPL," he said. "I was playing domestic cricket then and the KKR officials believed in me. I have visited India many times after that and have always enjoyed [my time here]. The IPL with KKR was really special."
Mendis, having just quit international cricket after 19 Tests, 87 ODIs and 39 T20Is for Sri Lanka since debut in 2008, is busy grooming the youngsters at his academy these days and after being associated with Sri Lankan army team as part of the coaching staff, he wishes to be involved in future with the national side.
“I want to be associated with the Sri Lanka team as a spin coach. I have done Level-III ICC coaching and with a bit more international experience (in coaching), I would like to help out our players," said the 35-year-old.
“I have a coaching facility in Sri Lanka, where I am looking forward to bring out young cricketers. We can guide them and ensure that they get the basics right."
(Inputs from Sportstar)