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Karachi: Jul 25, 2014
Brushing aside concerns over his bowling form in recent times, Ajmal said every bowler has ups and downs in his career but it does not mean he is finished as a bowler. “I don’t think my mystery as a spinner has finished,” Ajmal told reporters in Lahore. “More batsmen tend to read my doosra and know I will bowl them this delivery but I still get them out and that is something that gives me lot of satisfaction,”
The 36-year-old off-spinner has returned home after a successful stint with Worcestershire county in England and is now preparing for the forthcoming tour to Sri Lanka where Pakistan play two Tests and three One-Day Internationals (ODIs).
“Going to England has recharged me as a bowler as I got to experiment in county cricket and more importantly it was great having my family there with me and spending more time with them. I am fresh and ready for the challenges leading up to the World Cup,” he added.
Ajmal said that his main weapon was his ability to remain positive in all circumstances. “And most importantly I enjoy bowling long spells. I remain hungry for wickets,” he stated. He said playing more Twenty20 (T20) and 50-over cricket had not affected his bowling in Test matches as many people felt. “I bowl with a different approach in all these formats because I know what is required of me. But yes we play less Tests compared to limited over games and I would love to add more to my Test tally.”
Ajmal has an impressive return of 169 wickets in 33 Tests and another 182 wickets in 110 ODIs. He has also been effective in T20 matches. Ajmal said with more batting friendly pitches now being prepared in tests and other formats life for a spin bowler was tough and a big challenge. “I don’t like to complain and I am one who believes that the skill and worth of a spinner is truly tested when he takes wickets on pitches not assisting him. So I love the challenge but what is a fact is a fact.”
Ajmal said he was looking forward to the tour of Sri Lanka and then the Test series against Australia and New Zealand in United Arab Emirates (UAE). “Sri Lanka will be tough because their batting is dominant and they have two quality batters in [Kumar] Sangakarra and [Mahela] Jayawardene.”
“It is also Jayawardene’s farewell Test series so it is going to be interesting doing battle with them.”
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