Ajantha Mendis July 16, 2008

Too early to assess Mendis - Jenner

Cricinfo staff

Ajantha Mendis picked up 17 wickets in the Asia Cup last month © AFP

Terry Jenner, the former Australian legspinner who mentored Shane Warne, has said while Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis is an exciting prospect, it is too early to assess him.

Mendis, who picked up 17 wickets in the Asia Cup last month, including two five-wicket hauls, has had batsmen confounded by his mixture of googlies, offbreaks, top-spinners, flippers and legbreaks. But Jenner said it still had to be seen whether Mendis had the variation of pace to bowl in Tests.

"We don't know yet, but that's where [Anil] Kumble has been fantastic, particularly over the last five years," said Jenner, who was in Chennai for a coaching clinic for young spinners at the MAC Spin Foundation.

Jenner, also said that though the Indian Premier League was fantastic for a lot of reasons, it did not help in the development of young players. "It's a mature-age spinner's game, not a developing spinner's. When I watch Harbhajan [Singh] bowl yorkers at 100 kph, it's clever, but where's the development?"

Switching between formats, Jenner said, was very difficult. "From my experience, when a spinner starts pushing it through, he starts to lose the ability to spin it. Twenty20 serves a purpose with the entertainment, but it mustn't encroach on Test cricket."