Suffering from doosra fatigue yet? Help is at hand in the form of the carrom.

Ajantha Mendis, the spinning sensation from Sri Lanka, is the first person to master the delivery since Australia's Johnny Gleeson in the late-'60s.

With a googly, a straight one and the devilish "carrom", Mendis is the most exciting thing to hit cricket since a blond out of Black Rock delivered the Ball of the Century to Mike Gatting.

As Scott Styris contemplates the fact that he was made to look fairly ordinary, he can take solace in the fact Mendis has made plenty of his contemporaries look sheepish in his short but spectacular entry into international cricket.

The worrying thing is that New Zealand's next assignment is pencilled in for the Teardrop Isle and the visitors demonstrated last week that they do not have a single clue when it comes to playing Mendis.

New Zealand batsmen, as a rule, do not cope well with unorthodoxy. They don't see it at first-class level and the coaching set-up over the years has not looked kindly upon young bowlers who deviate far from the straight and narrow.

Which is why it is not going too far beyond the realms of reality to suggest New Zealand could be routed in Sri Lanka.

Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan and Mendis all abandoned the text book - yes, Muralitharan might have even abandoned the rule book - long ago and have the potential to embarrass the best line-ups in the world, let alone a team that has a collective average hovering closer to 30 than 40.

New Zealand have never dealt well with the low-slinging Malinga and very few have dealt well with Muralitharan's sleight of hand, contortion of wrist and, erm, bend of elbow.

The carrom is delivered, unlike Murali's doosra, with the front of the hand facing the batsman. Its deception stems from a flick of the middle finger that is tucked beside the ball. Quite how he gets the strength in that digit to do so is as hard to fathom as his delivery is to pick.

The ball is held between the thumb, forefinger and the middle finger and, instead of a regular release, the ball is squeezed out and flicked by the fingers like a carrom player flicking the disc on to the board.

The seam is placed in the hand horizontally and depending on which way the bent finger is placed on the ball, it can spin from leg to off, vice versa, or straight.