Dubai, Sep 11 (UNI) Sri Lanka's mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis, who was chosen as the Emerging Player of the Year at the annual ICC Awards here last night, has credited the crafty off-spinner Muttiah Murlitharan for his dream debut against India in which he bagged 26 wickets to create a world record.
''I picked up a lot of wickets only because Murali was bowling at the other end. He put a lot of pressure on the batsmen and so I got the opportunity to get the wickets,'' Mendis said at the award's ceremony.
The tricky spinner said it was a dream come true experience for him. ''I never dreamt of this a year ago. It has been fantastic playing for Sri Lanka.'' Mendis added that a lot of his expertise were an effort of Muralitharan who taught him the finer points of the game.
''He (Murlitharan) also guided me on how to control the ball and how to be patient while bowling against a top-class batting line-up.
''But the most important thing he taught me was to never be afraid of the opposition. He also taught me the importance of planning a batsman's dismissal,'' he added.
Mendis, who arrived at the international scene only a year ago, has 20 wickets to his name in just eight ODIs and he showed his skills in the Test series against India where he took 26 wickets.
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