Champions Trophy 2013 May 6, 2013

Ajmal eager to succeed on batting tracks


Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal has been working closely with the team's video analyst as he prepares to target the opposition's batsmen, including Chris Gayle, in the Champions Trophy in England. Ajmal said he was expecting batting pitches during the tournament but said his variations would be effective during the tournament.

"I know they [teams] plan against me," Ajmal told reporters on the fourth day of the training camp in Abbottabad. "And I am also planning against them. Although I haven't added any new variation this time, I am looking at their videos and planning accordingly. Spinners have an important role in all formats of the game and those like me, who bowl in death overs, have to work extra hard to counter the batsmen.

"We are targeting players like Chris Gayle, who plays so well in Twenty20," Ajmal said. "He [Gayle] may be a good batsman but I am also the number one spinner (in ODI rankings) and look forward to dismissing him quickly and seizing the advantage."

The specialist batsmen skipped the fourth day of the camp while the bowlers had an extended batting session. The batsmen, instead, opted to have physical training sessions at the Army PT school within the Pakistan Military Academy, where the team is currently staying. At the ground, Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Abdur Rehman and Mohammad Irfan had individual batting sessions in the nets with assistant coach Shahid Aslam.

"Tail-enders weren't given a proper run with the bat in the past but now coaches insist on giving bowlers ample training so that they can stay at the crease," Ajmal said. "In case the top order collapses, a tail-ender must have the ability to score 20-odd runs and share a stand of at least 70 to 80 runs."

The PCB has developed different types of pitches, including a grassy one at the Abbottabad Stadium, to give the batsmen a look into the conditions during the Champions Trophy. Ajmal also said that Pakistan were preparing for different kinds of tracks, in spite of the fact that most limited-over tournaments featured batting pitches.

"I think 90% of the pitches in the world are batting tracks while green tops are only 10 to 15%," Ajmal said. "We are preparing ourselves for everything. This will be the last Champions Trophy and hopefully we can win this."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    yes ajmal needs to be 100% for this. his SA tour was not that fruitfull but he also didnt get much support from others. hope he gets some this time around.

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    discussion about other players, i think only ahmed shehzad deserved to be in as he has very good domestic season.

  • I on May 8, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    Really glad to see the team putting in the work. Regardless of how the results go, as long as they put their best efforts in, it will be worthwhile. And also good to see the PCB organising matches in Scotland and Ireland beforehand, which can be warm-ups before the tournament. I don't think other teams are doing this, with the IPL on. The only other teams playing right now are Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, who won't be competing, and New Zealand and England, who will be playing the longer-form.

  • Dummy4 on May 8, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    A well Balanced team and i hope they do well

  • PAKISTANi on May 7, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    @kingsland and batsmen like AFRIDI, Nazir, Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad, Abdul Razzaq can make our batting line-up strong, I think u must be dreaming! We need Solid batsman, none of these is a pure solid batsman! They r hard hitters

  • u on May 7, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    @kingsland ......seems like you want to have all openers playing. Ahmed Shahzad, Imran Nazir, Awais Zia on top you have Jamshad, Farhat, Hafeez and Kamran Akmal. Be real with your selection choices.

  • Ramees on May 7, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    You are the Number one, show your magic there.. all the best

  • zaf on May 7, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    In UK tour I don't think PAK weak batting can win a single game. PCB should evaluate each player base on natural talent. Misbah/Mr. tuktuk, Asad Safiq, Sohaib Malik, should be in TEST team only. Fast players like Ahmed Shahzad, AFRIDI, Adul Razzak, Imran Nazir, Hammad Azam, Awais Zia, should be include in ODI/T20.

  • zaf on May 7, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    PAK team fear off Chris Gayle, while dropped AFRIDI from whose Gayle learnt how to hard hit six.

  • zaf on May 7, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    There is no doubt Ajmal is world class spin bowler. But in UK condition the game picture will be different than his Dream. The reality is what Ajmal or any bowler can do, when PAK weak batting score nothing?

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