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Can India stop Murali and Mendis?

July 27, 2008

Muttiah Muralitharan Spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis [Images] bowled Sri Lanka [Images] to an innings and 239-run victory in the first Test against India on Saturday.

- Images: India vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Day 4

While the Lankans registered their biggest Test win on home soil, the defeat was India's worst against the hosts.

Muralitharan and Mendis destroyed the famed Indian batting line-up on a dry spinning pitch, bowling the side out for 223 in the morning and then 138, in just 45 overs, in the second innings after Sri Lanka forced the follow-on with India trailing by 377 runs.

Muralitharan snared five for 84 from 29 overs in the first innings and then claimed a further six for 26 from 13 overs in the second innings.

Mendis, an unorthodox finger spinner, claimed four for 72 from 27.5 overs in the first innings and another four for 60 in the second innings to finish with eight for 132 on his Test debut.

In sum, the Indians were done in by the lethal combination of two spinners-- one experienced and the other playing only his first Test-- after the Sri Lanka batsmen-- four of whom got centuries -- feasted on the Indian bowling and rattled up 600 runs.

With the second Test coming up on Thursday, July 31, the Indians will have to come up with something extraordinary in bowling and batting to salvage some pride.

Tell us what India needs to do to tackle Murali and Mendis. What should our bowlers do to check the Sri Lankan run-machine?

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