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Saeed Ajmal and the art of the pause

Why Pakistan's lead bowler is like an Argentinian football midfielder

SB Tang

March 10, 2013

Comments: 56 | Text size: A | A

Saeed Ajmal took five wickets, South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Cape Town, 2nd day, February 15, 2013
Ajmal: master of the hook © Getty Images
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In Argentina, they often speak of the importance of "the pause" both to their music and their football. On the football pitch, "the pause" is the moment when the designated playmaker, positioned between the lines of midfield and attack, places his foot on the ball, looks up, and pauses - in that moment, everything stops in the eye of the playmaker's mind. Out in the physical world, the expectant crowd holds their breath, waiting for the playmaker to pick out a pass.

In that instant, all futures are possible. The playmaker - one man in a team of 11 - chooses the pass to play, the path to take. He and he alone authors the team's collective fate. Like a Jedi Knight, a good playmaker must be capable of seeing things before they happen - the angled run the centre-forward is about to make behind his marking defender, the surge down the touchline that the full-back wants to make to create the overload, and perhaps even which of his own advancing attackers the opposition's spare defender intends to cover.

Thus, one man carries the weight of his team's destiny on his shoulders. That is why, in Argentinian football, the designated playmaker, the wearer of the No. 10 shirt, occupies such a special cultural place - he performs a duty that is almost sacred in its importance.

Watching Saeed Ajmal run through the world's best batting line-up in the second Test at Newlands last month, my mind turned to a different kind of pause - that in Ajmal's bowling action. Like most spinners, he approaches the crease at a smooth, comfortable canter, but unlike most spinners, just before he releases the ball, he pauses for a fraction of a second - like a claymation character in a Wallace & Gromit film - instead of driving his non-pivoting leg through the crease in one fluid motion, as the coaching manuals recommend.

However, there is a purpose behind this pause, a method to the seeming madness: the pause strips the batsman of one of his primary tools of attack and defence - his feet. Ordinarily a batsman using his feet to come down the pitch to a spinner will start his move just before or after the spinner releases the ball. By pausing just before the point of release, Ajmal makes it more likely that he will be able to see the batsman start to move before he releases the ball (thereby enabling him to change his delivery accordingly) and, more importantly, makes the batsman believe that Ajmal will be able to see him coming and adjust his delivery accordingly. This in turn causes the batsman to decide not to advance down the wicket at all, thereby removing a crucial weapon from his armoury.

In many ways phenomena like the pause are as characteristic of Pakistan's cricket culture as of Argentina's football culture. If Ajmal had suffered the misfortune of being English, there can be little doubt that the distinctive pause in his bowling action, not to mention his doosra, would have been coached out of him. As Maurice Holmes, the English mystery spinner unjustly hounded out of the English professional game at the age of 22, explained: "There will always be the English view, that something different is not necessarily something good. There are people who tend to take the traditional view that things can and should only be done in one way."

By contrast, in Australia and on the subcontinent, the finest cricketers are largely self-taught and allowed, if not encouraged, by their coaches to do what comes naturally to them, to trust their homespun techniques, to express their unique and abundant god-given talents. As Muttiah Muralitharan explained to the Cricketer recently: "In Sri Lanka we find so many unique bowlers because we bowl naturally and are not over-coached." In Australia, Shane Warne had in Terry Jenner a coach and mentor who gave him the freedom to bowl naturally, even when that involved a substantial deviation from technical orthodoxy.

 
 
Ajmal simultaneously functions as both strike bowler and workhorse, artist and blue-collar labourer
 

At this moment Ajmal is 35 years of age and at the very peak of his powers. At Newlands he produced match figures of 10 for 147. The number and identity of the wickets were impressive in themselves, the exquisite manner of their extraction even more so. During South Africa's successful final-innings chase, Jacques Kallis, arguably the finest allrounder in history, and Faf du Plessis, among the form batsmen in world cricket, were left pinioned to their crease, like the hapless, scripted victims of a WWE cage match, after being trapped plumb in front by flat, fast offbreaks. Indeed, such was the thrall in which Ajmal held the South African batsmen, we were treated to the sight of AB de Villiers doing a decent Mesut Özil impersonation, his eyes nearly popping out of his skull as he tried to decipher one of Ajmal's deliveries from the non-striker's end.

The comparison of the pause in Ajmal's bowling with the pause in Argentinian football is apposite in several respects, not least of which is the nomenclature: in Argentina, the designated playmaker is known as the enganche - literally, "the hook". How apt. For Ajmal, like all masters of the art of spin bowling, doesn't just reel in his hooked catch - no, he personally baits the hook, dangles it before his intended catch, induces the bite and then gleefully reels in his victim.

There is no better example of this than his dismissal of Hashim Amla in the second innings at Newlands. Amla was well set and cruising serenely on 54 not out, having helped steer South Africa to 146 for 3, within touching distance of their victory target of 182. Ajmal tossed one up, wide of off, nice and high above Amla's eyeline, giving him the false comfort of off-driving him for four - and the crowd the opportunity to derive aesthetic pleasure from the shot. Ajmal's next ball was just a tad higher and a fraction slower. Not even a batsman of Amla's class could resist such a delectable temptation. He unfurled his gorgeous, trademark, flourishing cover drive… and connected with nothing but air. The ball, a conventional offbreak dropping steeply, sailed through Amla's wide open gate and clipped the bails over middle and off. Amla, as good a batsman as there is right now, was left floundering and grasping for something just out of his reach, like a child straining on tiptoe to reach a jar of lollies stored on the high shelf in the kitchen.

Much like the enganche, in the moment of the pause, Ajmal carries the enormous weight of his team's fate, if not on his shoulders then certainly in his long, supple sculptor's fingers. Ajmal is not quite the sole wicket-taker in the way that the enganche is the sole creator, but there is no doubt that in the current Pakistan Test XI he is far and away the primary wicket-taker. Ajmal took took ten of the 16 South African wickets that fell in the Cape Town Test match. When Pakistan beat the world's then No. 1 Test team in the UAE in 2012, he took 24 of the 60 English wickets that fell. At Newlands, the only bowling support that Pakistan could muster for Ajmal came in the form of a 34-year-old "fast-medium" opening bowler who bowls slower than Australia's current wicketkeeper; a raw, no-ball prone, seven-foot-one-inch giant making his Test debut, and a solid one-day bowler whose Test bowling average, after nearly 50 Tests, remains stuck in the mid-30s.

Thus the comparison of Ajmal with the enganche is inapposite in one crucial respect. The enganche in the classic Argentinian 4-3-1-2 formation is neither a leader nor a hard labourer; rather, as Hugo Asch put it, he "is an artist", "a romantic hero, a poet, a misunderstood genius with the destiny of a myth" who "only works under shelter, with a court in his thrall and an environment that protects him from the evils of this world". Indeed, that is the very purpose of the 4-3-1-2 formation - to protect the enganche. The bank of three behind him performs the hard physical labour of tackling, running, chasing and harrying for him, so that he is free to create art. Leadership is provided not by the enganche, but by hard-running, hard-tackling holding midfielders, such as Javier Mascherano in Argentina's 2010 World Cup team, or robust defenders, such as Roberto Perfumo in Argentina's 1966 World Cup team.

Ajmal, by contrast, is the very definition of a leader and a hard labourer. There are no other world-class bowlers in the current Pakistan Test XI to carry his water for him. He simultaneously functions as both strike bowler and workhorse, artist and blue-collar labourer.

When he claimed his sixth South African first-innings wicket at Newlands Test with a classic offspinner's delivery - a slower, flighted offbreak pitching well outside the left-hander Dean Elgar's off stump, which invited the drive and duly drew the edge to slip - Ramiz Raja said on commentary: "He's a champion, Saeed Ajmal."

That he is.

SB Tang is an Australian writer based in London. He blogs about cricket here

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by SBTang on (March 11, 2013, 21:10 GMT)

@Muhammad Ali Rafiq: Thanks for your comment. You make an excellent point. A spinner needs a partnership with a good keeper who understands him in order to thrive. A lot of Lyon's recent travails have been caused by Wade's keeping woes. Sarfraz Ahmed is solid with both bat and gloves, but he's not a great keeper. I was surprised that Pakistan dumped Adnan Akmal who looked a good gloveman.

@AlbertPintoGussaHua: Thanks for your comment. Yup, I agree that Ojha should be in India's Test XI. Compared with other countries, I reckon that you've currently got a decent crop of spinners in India, but obviously, you've had better in the past. What's really surprised me though is the absence of wrist spinners. Where's the next Chandrasekhar or Kumble? The only Indian wrist spinner I've seen recently is Piyush Chawla who looked promising to me, but clearly the Indian selectors don't agree -- they've only given him three Test over the past seven years!

Kind regards SB

Posted by SBTang on (March 11, 2013, 20:15 GMT)

@IndiaChampspakchumps:

Thanks for your comment. Yes, it's true that Ajmal didn't do well in the first Test in Johannesburg and the third Test in Centurion. But, this is his first tour of South Africa. It's the first time that he's had the opportunity to learn how to bowl on hard, greenish, seam-friendly South African wickets. Even the greatest spinners take time to work out how to bowl in foreign conditions. Warne took several tours to work out how to bowl in India. Kumble took several tours to work out how to bowl in Australia. If even they needed time to adapt, then so too does Ajmal. He's only played one Test in Australia, therefore, it's impossible to make a fair judgement as to his ability to bowl in Australia -- there's not enough empirical data. He's played three Tests in England, taking 12 wickets at a respectable average of 29.41. For a foreign spinner's maiden Test tour of England, that is unequivocal success, not failure.

Kind regards SB

Posted by Mr.Lock on (March 11, 2013, 19:01 GMT)

Excellent read SB. I am glad people around the globe are noticing Saeed's performance. The only sad thing is that somehow ICC "experts" can't find him capable of any awards , year after year. This is such a shameful act that doesn't do justice to him by any means and future generation will not recognize him if they only looked for awards to know what a champion he was.

Posted by   on (March 11, 2013, 16:42 GMT)

what a beautiful article; as both a cricket and soccer player (for fun in both sports) and as a coach for our local soccer league the analogy between soccer and cricket is amazing! My 10 year old son is an avid Messi fan and I will share this great analogy with him and his team. Thoroughly enjoyed the article sir!

Posted by   on (March 11, 2013, 16:06 GMT)

i think saeed ajmal is great off spinner.he is more effective than murli nd warne......

Posted by   on (March 11, 2013, 15:53 GMT)

Yeah great article you've written. But there is something more i want to add like when he comes to the crease, and he "pauses" ; at that moment it reminds me of the movie "Sherlock Homes" that before attack he visaulises what the other person is gonna strike at me. And that what exactly ajmal does. Beside "the pause" there is alot of talent in him, infact "The Pause" is just 1% of all the art this Dosra master knows.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (March 11, 2013, 15:01 GMT)

He is the same bowler who single handly lost semifinal of WC to hussey and I can't ever forget how he was smashed by kohli during his 183 knock

Posted by   on (March 11, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

SBTang. very good article. He is one off the best off spinner in this era.

Posted by py0alb on (March 11, 2013, 12:49 GMT)

Shane Warne was about as technically orthodox as it was possible to be.

Posted by umairasgharbutt on (March 11, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

hes the best. the king of spin !

Posted by AbdulRehmanKhan on (March 11, 2013, 3:41 GMT)

There can be no room for further speculation or doubt. Ajmal's action is fine. That is a scientific fact.

Posted by SBTang on (March 10, 2013, 22:00 GMT)

@mcsdl: Thanks for your kind words. Yup, Xavi's a lovely playmaker who, like an Argentinian enganche, loves to put his foot on the ball, look up and pause. However, there are two main differences between the enganche in the classic Argentinian 4-3-1-2 formation and the modern Barça system.

Firstly, Xavi is not the sole creator. The entire Barça XI -- starting with Valdes and Piqué at the back -- are expected to create. Busquets, Cesc, Thiago and Iniesta in particular are adept playmakers.

Secondly, no-one in the Barça front six is coddled -- everyone, starting from Messi at the front, is expected to work, press, harry and win the ball back. When Barça are at their best, they practise what they preach -- the famous six second rule: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Cs0IemkVKs

Kind regards SB

Posted by SBTang on (March 10, 2013, 21:59 GMT)

Hi all

Thanks for your comments. I'm going to try reply to all of them in turn.

@[Facebook symbol]: Thanks for your kind words.

@Razag: Thanks for your kind words.

@Zamana: Thanks for your kind words.

Kind regards SB

Posted by SBTang on (March 10, 2013, 20:51 GMT)

@brija: Continuing from my previous comment:

Of course, if I've read your comment correctly, you believe that the relevant law should be changed. You've got every right to your opinion, but I respectfully disagree. It is practically impossible to bowl a cricket ball without some degree of elbow straightening. The ICC's job is to set a clear legal limit on that straightening and enforce that limit firmly and fairly on all bowlers. In Ajmal's case, the evidence shows that they've performed that job competently.

Kind regards SB

Posted by SBTang on (March 10, 2013, 20:50 GMT)

@brija: Thanks for your comment. I believe that Ajmal's action is legal because ESPNCricinfo has provided facts that prove the legality of his bowling action. As ESPNCricinfo's Senior Correspondent, George Dobell, put it: "The bottom line is this: Saeed Ajmal's action is well within the ICC range of tolerance. It is legal. While he does bowl with a bend in his arm, it does not straighten more, on average, than about eight degrees."

http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan-v-england-2012/content/story/552579.html http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/552586.html

Kind regards SB

Posted by SBTang on (March 10, 2013, 19:55 GMT)

@Faisal Paracha; @Dhruv Gupta: Thanks for your kind words.

@Nadeem1976; @Faraz Hussain: Thanks for your kind words. The good news is that age is no barrier for a quality spinner, particularly one who arrives in Test cricket late. Clarrie Grimmett was 33 when he made his Test debut, Arthur Mailey was 34 and Fawad Ahmed will be 31 when he dons the baggy green for the first time later this year. With the wonders of modern medicine, we can reasonably expect to look forward to many more years of Ajmal's brilliance. I, for one, am grateful for that. It'd be great to see India and Pakistan playing each other in Test matches again. Hopefully, this can happen without creating any undue political tension.

Kind regards SB

Posted by SBTang on (March 10, 2013, 19:47 GMT)

@mcsdl: The good news is that age is no barrier for a quality spinner, particularly one who arrives in Test cricket late. Clarrie Grimmett was 33 when he made his Test debut, Arthur Mailey was 34 and Fawad Ahmed will be 31 when he dons the baggy green for the first time later this year. With the wonders of modern medicine, we can reasonably expect to look forward to many more years of Ajmal's brilliance. I, for one, am grateful for that.

Kind regards SB

Posted by SBTang on (March 10, 2013, 19:41 GMT)

@Saarthak Sangamnerkar:

Continuing from my previous comment:

My theory as to why Ashwin is a far better Test bowler without his pause is two-fold. Firstly, when Ashwin uses his pause, he becomes over-reliant on his carrom ball and tends to bowl too many flat and fast deliveries, like he's unconsciously slipped into one-day mode. Consequently, he doesn't bowl enough good flighted classic offies which, at the end of the day, is how an offie gets the bulk of his Test wickets. Secondly, Ashwin's pause is substantially longer than Ajmal's. Too long I reckon, which allows the batsman to read and adjust to what he's bowling.

Kind regards SB

Posted by SBTang on (March 10, 2013, 19:39 GMT)

@Tahir_Anjum: Thanks for your kind words.

@Saarthak Sangamnerkar: Yes, Ashwin makes for an interesting comparison. By and large, the pause works for Ajmal across all three formats of the game, whereas the pause just didn't work for Ashwin (in Test cricket at least). Ashwin used his pause in Test series against Australia in Australia in 2011-12 and England in India in 2012 and, by his own high standards, struggled -- against Australia, he only managed nine wickets in three Tests at an exorbitant price of 62.77 apiece and, against England, he only managed 14 wickets in four Tests at an average of 52.64. By contrast, since he's abandoned the pause for the on-going Test series against Australia in India, he's been bowling brilliantly. After two Tests, he's already taken 18 wickets at the miserly price of 16.77 apiece.

To be continued in my next comment.

Kind regards SB

Posted by S.Alis on (March 10, 2013, 18:38 GMT)

A truly magnificent article about magician Ajmal. Love how the writer describe everything around pause where it's started.

And there are always cry babies around whenever it comes to doosra. Just get over it and enjoy the game. You will see the art and a nice battle between bowler and batsman.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 17:57 GMT)

continue after my earlier post. if bowler is allowed to bowl above the modern limits it is wisely done by ICC because those bowlers natrually(not by themselves)have problem in thier arms due to an accident or somtimes by birth if you want to bowl also fracture your arm(especiallyyour bones) go to ICC they will have teston you if you passed can bowl.you just cannot let someone not play he has a natrual problem.for those who say Ajmal's dossra is a problem ICC published a report after Eng vs Pak series(test)2012 in which it was clearly said that Ajmal Dossra was well within the limits but his offbreaks are more than limits but allowed because after having biomedical test on Ajmal it was revealed that he had problem with his arm due an accident so his limits are equal to those having no problems in their arms(simple as 2+4=1+5 but different values). As in every society there are conservatives so the conservatives of cricket are those who do acepts the innovations(within the limits also).

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

I saw Ashwin trying the "pause-before-delivery" approach. This article says, it helps the bowler, to see the batsman's move, a second in advance,, before he decides where to bowl and how to bowl. In case of Ashwin, the slo-mo clearly showed that batsman has that extra second to see/read the grip perfectly, and decide what kind of delivery he can probably expect, and the feet movement he has to initiate. So, it is a cat-and-mouse game. Ultimately, nether gets an extra edge, Only an additional second of wasted efforts.

Posted by da_man_ on (March 10, 2013, 15:35 GMT)

@SurlyCynic, Hafeez also has a pause. He's never had any controversy around his action or "flex". Rather than pseudo-intellectual drivel, let's look at EVIDENCE.

Also, the 15 degrees rule was enforced by the ICC as acceptable. So what you're saying is England would coach habits that are perfectly legal out of their bowlers? I suggest you de-mount from your high horse.

Posted by shoaib28 on (March 10, 2013, 12:24 GMT)

Its gem of an article!!...Ajmal is truly a Magician!!

Posted by Lahori92 on (March 10, 2013, 12:10 GMT)

@Jimmy Davis - well said mate, as a matter of fact right now swann and ajmal are the only spin bowlers in the world who perform brilliantly oversees, unlike indian spinners.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 11:59 GMT)

Well a good column indeed... But I could see Hussy standing way back, right next to the stumps waiting for the 'pause', the 'bait' and even the 'catch' and then waloooop... Remember that?!?

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 11:35 GMT)

Excellent article,

Saeed Ajmal is a magnificent bowler, probably my favourite to watch in world cricket today. The only comparable bowler in world cricket is Graeme Swann. Its wonderful to watch them toy with batsman like only the very best, and wiliest spinners can.

The only source of frustration is that both are the wrong side of 34 - and although Ajmal shows no sign of slowing - Swann is increasingly injury prone.

Posted by Lahori92 on (March 10, 2013, 10:31 GMT)

@indiachump - let me correct you for poor info Ajmal has not toured australia, and how many indian spinners do well oversees.

Ajmal has taken all of his test, odi and t20 wickets away from home.

Posted by ozwriter on (March 10, 2013, 10:21 GMT)

SB Tang, well done! an absolute pleasure to read. one of the best cricinfo articles i've ever read.

Posted by AlbertPintoGussaHua on (March 10, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

Unquestionably, Ajmal is the best spinner in world, especially now thar Murali has retired. Why can't we find such quality spin bowlers in India anymore? After all, this is the land of Bedi, Prasanna and Chandrashekhar plus Kumble. The current lot simply pales in comparison. And the best spinner among the contemporary bowlers is benched in favour of the ineffective Sardar. What was the logic behind playing Bhajji in Chennai and Hyderabad? Bet both the matches would have ended a day earlier, if Ojha was playing instead of Harbhajan. But the selectors, eschewing logic, got sentimental and wanted to gift Bhajji his 100th test cap. Okay now he has played 101 matches, so get him out of here and bring back Ojha, the highest wicket taker against England just a few months back.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 9:38 GMT)

Spinner does not need other end Supported spinner .. Spinner best partner is Keeper ....Saqlain Mustaq was very good with Moin Khan but not with Rashid Latif... Shane Warne was very good with Ian Healy and Gilchrist..Keeper knows the movement and dilvery of spinner... but Saeed Ajmal didnt get any good partner ... Thats why, Now Saeed Ajmal is the best bowler.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (March 10, 2013, 9:38 GMT)

There is a reason why the pause would have been 'coached out of him' in England and other countries. To pause in your action, yet still deliver the ball with the same speed and spin, is only possible with the, er, '15 degree flex'. Let's be honest and logical about this.

Posted by tonyEp on (March 10, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

@The_Red_Cherry Bowlers are within the rules to bowl with a bent arm. It is only the degrees of flexing or "straightening" from that bend that is the issue. Anyway, I really can understand what you mean by the 'pause' in football and when Ajmal bowls. And it's not what typical spinners do nowadays where they stop in the middle of their action; Ajmal 'pauses' in one fliud motion naturally in his bowling action. Great to watch his deception.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

Sir, an absolutely beautiful article. I am thankful to you for admiring the Great Champion of modern cricket.

Posted by billybowden211 on (March 10, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

@indiachamps Hey what do you know, he never played in australia earlier, it was when they they came to UAE and Ajmal took 10 wickets in 4 matches, I bet Ashwin would never get near that. And why are you making up that he went australia, pakistan never toured australia!

Posted by Travian.Cricket on (March 10, 2013, 8:57 GMT)

@IndiaChampspakchumps . See the comment above you . There is no other pakistani bowler except Rehman that can support him from the other end . Guessing you are an Indian , lets take the example of Harbhajan . He was OK when Kumble kept the pressure on the other end , but when he retired what happened ? Admit it, Ajmal is currently one of the world's best spinner in the modern era .

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 8:26 GMT)

To the writer , have you ever noticed Ashwin? How long he holds his arm while bowling? Almost every spinner is doing this.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

Truly a good article on a great champion of the game, Saeed. Love him.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

actually, on craftsmanship and guile alone, I would rate him higher than saqlain mushtaq. Definitely above Murali too (Ajmal has more variations). Pity he entered at such a late age and at a time when our team are so useless. He is like Brian Lara in that way

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

Awsme work by the writer...

Posted by IndiaChampspakchumps on (March 10, 2013, 8:04 GMT)

Ajmal was not successful in the first and the third tests. He was also a failure in England and Australia earlier. He needs helpful wickets to be effective, therfore he cannot be ranked alongside Warne, Murali or Kumble.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 7:45 GMT)

yes ajmal is the best spinner in the world

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 7:38 GMT)

Oh c'mon... Now why didn't you mention the enganche eh.. Lionel Messi..

Posted by Amjad_satti on (March 10, 2013, 7:07 GMT)

yes Saeed Ajmal is best off-sppiner in the world .And Proud to be a pakistani.

Posted by Shazaib_ali on (March 10, 2013, 7:01 GMT)

Ajmal The real king of spin today...!

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

Terrific Article, I hope he can be fit till 40.

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (March 10, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

great to see some body writes about saeed ajmal because he is really magical. guy can deceive any batsman in the world. I don't rank him as genius but he is different from current crop of spinners and by far the best spinner in the world.

Saeed ajmal action is unique there is no doubt and deceiving too. No body can read what's coming. great art.

I just want saeed ajmal to bowl against india in test matches for once before he retires if he can get indian batsmen wickets then i will have great pride in saeed ajmal. come one india let's play test matches.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 6:35 GMT)

Awesome piece....hallmark of a champion

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 6:30 GMT)

Mravellous piece on Ajmal..A true champion

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 6:28 GMT)

apart than Saeed Ajmal of Pakistan, R Ashwin (India) has really mastered this pause style of spin bowling

Posted by Tahir_Anjum on (March 10, 2013, 5:50 GMT)

Fantastic piece of writing.. feels good the foreign journalists are praising the Champion.. at New lands it was best vs best and the genius stood out there.. And yes he is the only wicket taking bowler in Pakistan Test XI.. Not only take wickets but also very impressive economy rate.. Hats off to you CHAMPION

Posted by mcsdl on (March 10, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

The Pause is the word for Barcelona legend Xavi. He does it time and time again and a true genius...! Its a shame Ajmal showing his ability when he is in his 30s. He is a talent, but wouldn't have enough time to back it up with stats..!

Posted by Zamana on (March 10, 2013, 4:07 GMT)

An enthralling and captivating article on a true genius. May he have a long and exciting career and take Pakistan to the very top. His variety is matched only by his temperament. Looking forward to seeing him mesmerize the opposition in a few hours.

Posted by Razag on (March 10, 2013, 3:54 GMT)

Great article the jem from pakistan and the class he brings with him is Just amazing a true magacian is the least you can say about this man:

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 2:32 GMT)

awesome article , good to see recognition of this great Pakistani bowler

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