By Bipin Dani
Sri Lankan all-rounder Ramesh Mendis did not have a memorable debut in the ongoing Test against England.
On Saturday, coming in at number seven, he could not open his account and was dismissed by Mark Wood, caught down the leg side.
"Obviously, I am disappointed but hope he will do well,” his mentor and childhood coach Isuru Anushka, who now resides in Australia, said.
"Also, remember he successfully faced six deliveries of fast bowler James Anderson, who was looking dangerous in all his spells. I am confident Ramesh will do well in the subsequent opportunities.”
Mendis is not the first Sri Lankan cricketer to be out for a duck on his Test debut innings. The long list includes Marvan Atapattu, Hashan Tillakaratne and Roy Dias.
"It is not the end of the world for him,” Tillakaratne, who also had an unforgettable debut innings (against Australia at Hobart in 1989), said.
"Ramesh Mendis is young (25 years) and has a long career ahead. He may have been disappointed but has to learn moving on from here. He needs to forget the sadness and try to learn from the shot which took his wicket. He should take a leaf out this innings and score big runs in the second innings.”
"He is a solid batsman, having scored 300 runs in domestic cricket. He should look forward and score big runs", Tilakratne added further.
"We all are watching the match on TV. Disappointed yes, but we have not lost hope. My brother will do better after this,” his brother Nimesh, who also plays cricket at school level, said.