Yes, that's correct. Mendis, 20, bowls offbreaks in addition to slow left-arm - the latter being marginally his stronger suit. He caught the eye when playing for the Sri Lanka Board XI against England during a warm-up match earlier this month, sending down his offspin against Eoin Morgan, a left-hand batsman, and then switching to orthodox left-arm against right-hander Joe Root. He had previously showcased his abilities during the 2016 U-19 World Cup.
Surprisingly not. In India, Akshay Karnewar has had some success at senior level bowling fingerspin with both hands, while a talent hunt in Pakistan unearthed ambidextrous fast bowler Yasir Jan, who was promptly given a 10-year development contract by Lahore Qalanders. In the women's game, Jemma Barsby has alternated between offspin and slow left-arm playing for Brisbane Heat in the WBBL, while Bangladesh's Shaila Sharmin took up bowling spin with her left arm after finding herself at the back of the queue as a right-arm bowler.
There have been examples in the past: Pakistan batsman Hanif Mohammad, in the 1950s, was believed to be the first to bowl with both arms in a Test, former England captain Graham Gooch was capable of it, and Sri Lanka's Hashan Tillakaratne (who was also a wicketkeeper) rolled out the trick during the closing stages of a big win over Kenya at the 1996 World Cup. But some, such as former Australia coach John Buchanan, believe now is the time to encourage potentially ambidextrous players from a young age.
Chiefly, the ability to change the bowler's angle of attack according to the situation. Spinning the ball away from a batsman is a preferred tactic, while it might be possible to make better use of the rough by switching bowling style. The mere element of surprise, by delivering the ball with the other arm, could be enough to gain an advantage - which can be all-important in the fast-paced environment of T20.
It's not quite as simple as that, thanks to the Laws of the game, which stipulate the bowler must inform the umpire - who in turn tells the batsman - whether he or she wishes to bowl over or round the wicket, and with which arm, before they deliver the ball. They can switch as often as they like during an over, as long as the umpire is told each time. The MCC deliberated last year about whether to drop the requirement, but decided player safety dictated the batsman should know from where (and which hand) the ball is coming. Just don't mention the fact that batsmen are not restricted in the same way.
Yes, although it might not necessarily be for his bowling. Mendis, a former Sri Lanka U-19s captain, considers himself a batting allrounder and made 61 from 72 balls coming in at No. 6 in the aforementioned tour game against England. Mendis bats left-handed… but his proficiency at the switch hit is currently unknown.
Alan Gardner is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick