WORLD cricket has a new Muttiah Muralidaran, a freakish Sri Lanka mystery spinner taking the game to places it has never been. Part-time Sri Lankan army trooper Ajantha Mendis threatens to turn cricket on its head with his mesmeric brand of spin, which defies convention and includes off breaks, leg breaks, googlies and top-spinners. The 23-year-old Mendis, who took an amazing 6-13 against India in the Asia Cup final on Sunday, is basically two spinners rolled into one. He has no stock delivery and turns the ball both ways. Although still officially classified as a slow-medium bowler, he can spin the ball at right angles either way and is even harder to pick than Muralidaran. Mendis has also has invented a new delivery - the "carrom" or "flicker" ball - that he releases with a snap of his strong middle finger and could result in an off break, a leg break, a googly or even a zooter. He claims his mystery ball spins randomly depending on the time of release, and some of the world's top batsmen admit they are clueless. India skipper MS Dhoni conceded his batsmen, some of the world's best players of spin, had been completely deceived during Mendis's spell. "I think he was too hot to handle. We were playing him for the first time and he was lethal. In fact, none of us could pick him," Dhoni said. "We never had any reply to his bowling." Mendis, who has 20 wickets at an average of 10.25 from his eight one-day internationals, was named man of the tournament in the Asia Cup for his 17 wickets at 8.5. In the final he was introduced into the attack before Murali, who took a subdued 1-26.