PCB XI v England XI, Tour match, Dubai, 1st day January 11, 2012

Gooch downplays Ajmal's 'new' delivery

David Hopps
97

Saeed Ajmal's warning that he is about to unleash his new mystery delivery, Shane Warne style, upon England in the first Test in Dubai has not left England's batting coach, Graham Gooch, fretting over how his batsmen might combating it.

"We'll wait and see about the teesra," said Gooch. "Saying one thing and doing it are two different things in my book.

In any case, Ajmal's teesra does not seem to be as secret as he might suggest. His spin-bowling predecessor in the Pakistan side, Saqlain Mushtaq, the inventor of the doosra, claimed to have developed the teesra while playing in the Indian Cricket League three years ago.

The doosra is the offspinner's wrong 'un, the teesra is equivalent to the top-spinner and bounces a bit more. There is even footage of Saqlain bowling it on YouTube.

Ajmal told PakPassion that he chose not to experiment with the delivery during the World Cup 2011 because it was a high-profile tournament, but that he was now ready to drive England to distraction in the Test series in the UAE.

"I played against Shane Warne most of his career, the greatest spin bowler I've ever played against," Gooch said. "He'd always come up with 'I've got this ball - the zooter'. So what is this ball, the 'zooter'? It's the ball that just goes straight on actually, if I remember rightly. It's all a little bit smoke and mirrors, isn't it?"

That is not to say that Gooch discounts Ajmal's threat. His doosra troubled England during the spot-fixing tour of England in 2010. "He's the top wicket-taker of 2011 in Test cricket, so that in itself is going to be a good challenge for us."

England struggled against spin on the opening day of their final warm-up match in Dubai, requiring a century from Alastair Cook to reach 269 for 9 declared at the close as Yasir Shah, a 25-year-old leg spinner, took five wickets.

David Hopps is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 5wombats on January 14, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    @Harmony111 on (January 14 2012, 11:17 AM GMT). Pot. Kettle. Black.

  • CricketPissek on January 14, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    wonder why he didnt try it against Sri Lanka :-S

  • gunnerr4life on January 14, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    @All Indian fans You all should be commenting on the article , " Warner's blazing ton destroys India " rather than here . And Pakistani fans never said that they will win 2-0 or 3-0 in this series , unlike Indian fans who were hoping for 4-0 victory against England but got what they deserved ! This will be a good series with both teams having equal chances ( probably Eng have an edge because of their batting ) .. Good luck to both the teams . ( cric info please publish )

  • gunnerr4life on January 14, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    @All Indian Fans , You should be commenting on the article " Warner's blazing ton destroys India " ! And Pakistani fans never said that Pakistan will win 2-0 or 3-0 , like Indian fans did before the memorable England series ! This will be a good series with both the sides having equal chances .. Good luck to Eng and Pak ! ( Cric Info please publish )

  • Harmony111 on January 14, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    @5wombats :-

    May be its you who has to learn a few things - reading in full to begin with. If you had only cared to read the full comment (and at least the statement right after the one that you quoted) you would have been able to grasp the context in which I was talking. But then reading or viewing things in full has never been your way, has it? Your way is to keep using the straw man argument in order to look smart.

  • deconstruct on January 14, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    Have seen some interesting comments here: one Indian fan saying that Harbhajan is the greatest spinner in the world!!! Exactly, and Indian team is the best in the world - proof of which is currently being seen in the series against Australia (and earlier in England). Word of advise to my Indian friends: come out of this dream-like state where your team and its players are like gods - reality is: India is in real danger of their second consecutive 4-0 whitewash in an away series.

    To the English fans: if you make the mistake of comparing this Pakistani outfit with the one that played under Salman Butt, you'll see how wrong you are. The difference may not be much on paper (though that team had better fast bowlers but a poor batting line - Misbah and Younus not being there); its the state of mind which makes the real difference..., not to forget, of course, the conditions.

    Anyway, proof of the pudding lies in eating it; so lets wait and see.

  • 5wombats on January 13, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    @Harmony111 on (January 13 2012, 16:53 PM GMT). In the current circumstances an india fan coming onto a Pak V Eng forum and saying; "The only batsman I would call as relatively weak would be Trott", is remarkable to say the least. Haven't learned much have you?

  • hhillbumper on January 13, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    The doosra did so much for Saqlain that it effectively stopped him being able to bowl his offspin to the quality he could.Mendis was a great mystery spinner and now can be played blindfold.Lets see how it goes down before we have all the mind games.As for Harbhajan being the worlds greatest spinner? I think you will find that title belongs to Ashwin or Lyon both of whom have set the current series alight.

  • brittop on January 13, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    Bit of mind games is always fun! Ajmal seems to be getting it together and will pose problems for England. Hope they can prevail. Should be a great series. I can't wait.

  • SomersetJord on January 13, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    Shan156 - Great comment Shan, it's really refreshing to see some genuine sense being written. I think the Tests will be close just like you predict, and I hope England will emerge victorious. I totally agree on the ODI's, Pakistan will give us a good thrashing sadly, we're just not very good at 50 over cricket for some reason!!

  • 5wombats on January 14, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    @Harmony111 on (January 14 2012, 11:17 AM GMT). Pot. Kettle. Black.

  • CricketPissek on January 14, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    wonder why he didnt try it against Sri Lanka :-S

  • gunnerr4life on January 14, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    @All Indian fans You all should be commenting on the article , " Warner's blazing ton destroys India " rather than here . And Pakistani fans never said that they will win 2-0 or 3-0 in this series , unlike Indian fans who were hoping for 4-0 victory against England but got what they deserved ! This will be a good series with both teams having equal chances ( probably Eng have an edge because of their batting ) .. Good luck to both the teams . ( cric info please publish )

  • gunnerr4life on January 14, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    @All Indian Fans , You should be commenting on the article " Warner's blazing ton destroys India " ! And Pakistani fans never said that Pakistan will win 2-0 or 3-0 , like Indian fans did before the memorable England series ! This will be a good series with both the sides having equal chances .. Good luck to Eng and Pak ! ( Cric Info please publish )

  • Harmony111 on January 14, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    @5wombats :-

    May be its you who has to learn a few things - reading in full to begin with. If you had only cared to read the full comment (and at least the statement right after the one that you quoted) you would have been able to grasp the context in which I was talking. But then reading or viewing things in full has never been your way, has it? Your way is to keep using the straw man argument in order to look smart.

  • deconstruct on January 14, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    Have seen some interesting comments here: one Indian fan saying that Harbhajan is the greatest spinner in the world!!! Exactly, and Indian team is the best in the world - proof of which is currently being seen in the series against Australia (and earlier in England). Word of advise to my Indian friends: come out of this dream-like state where your team and its players are like gods - reality is: India is in real danger of their second consecutive 4-0 whitewash in an away series.

    To the English fans: if you make the mistake of comparing this Pakistani outfit with the one that played under Salman Butt, you'll see how wrong you are. The difference may not be much on paper (though that team had better fast bowlers but a poor batting line - Misbah and Younus not being there); its the state of mind which makes the real difference..., not to forget, of course, the conditions.

    Anyway, proof of the pudding lies in eating it; so lets wait and see.

  • 5wombats on January 13, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    @Harmony111 on (January 13 2012, 16:53 PM GMT). In the current circumstances an india fan coming onto a Pak V Eng forum and saying; "The only batsman I would call as relatively weak would be Trott", is remarkable to say the least. Haven't learned much have you?

  • hhillbumper on January 13, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    The doosra did so much for Saqlain that it effectively stopped him being able to bowl his offspin to the quality he could.Mendis was a great mystery spinner and now can be played blindfold.Lets see how it goes down before we have all the mind games.As for Harbhajan being the worlds greatest spinner? I think you will find that title belongs to Ashwin or Lyon both of whom have set the current series alight.

  • brittop on January 13, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    Bit of mind games is always fun! Ajmal seems to be getting it together and will pose problems for England. Hope they can prevail. Should be a great series. I can't wait.

  • SomersetJord on January 13, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    Shan156 - Great comment Shan, it's really refreshing to see some genuine sense being written. I think the Tests will be close just like you predict, and I hope England will emerge victorious. I totally agree on the ODI's, Pakistan will give us a good thrashing sadly, we're just not very good at 50 over cricket for some reason!!

  • Harmony111 on January 13, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    @landl47 :-

    Exactly. I am nearly in sync with you. Just that I had no idea he was 34 !!! I was thinking Ajmal would be something like 31. Ain't he a bit too old to be developing new deliveries? Perhaps his mom should have scolded him for not bowling the regular ones. Anyways, I would be mighty surprised to see Ajmal doing more than a few degrees of damage. Neither is Ajmal that good a bowler nor are the current Eng batsmen those turkeys of 90s. The only batsman I would call as relatively weak would be Trott. Other than him, all the others are good players of spin. The spinners would become useful if Eng are 5 down for not much. Then the lower order may struggle against spinners since I am not so sure about them facing spinners but if the top 5 score runs then this possibility becomes remote.

  • Harmony111 on January 13, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    I am unable to see the way this series is going to be. Logic says that Eng should win but there is something about the whole scene that suggests otherwise. Perhaps it is the conditions. Perhaps it is Umar Gul. I dare say that none of the Eng bowlers comes close to Umar Gul when we talk of these dry conditions. Anderson is a good bowler and so is Finch but how effective they will be in the gulf remains to be seen. Gul's reverse swing can be devastating and potentially match n series turning points. I don't think Ajmal would be all that effective TBH. He is good but not exactly a match winner. Each time I think all of this though in my mind, the last line that I settle at is that Pakistan must bat well and be able to match the strong English line up. This will be a tough task but if they can do this then either we will see some draws or a very close series, even 1-1. At the moment, I am for 70-30 Eng.

  • Khizer on January 13, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    I m not sure if Ajmal ever used the word "teesra" about his upcoming new delivery then why people are comparing it with Saqlain's teesra??

  • Valavan on January 13, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    Hey English Fans, Come on guys be calm, i have seen how other teams worked out mystery ball fiasco, Ajantha Mendis, where is he now? Ravichandran Ashwin its too early to comment on him but he isnt effective as he was hyped for a quicker carrom ball or whatever. Now Ajmal, well ye playing some mind games with mystery ball. England does play spin poorly. but therse bowlers are nowhere near the shadows of Warne, Murali or Kumble. Let Ajmal and his fans do the talking in cricinfo, Let England do the talking in the field, Any Fan from sub continent can underestimate England, but you need 11 players to perform to win a test match, we play as a team, lets see if Pakistan justifies their fans views. Good Luck Eng and Pak. cricinfo please publish.

  • sharkwolf on January 13, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding! its all te matter of condtion what happened to Swan in "India" remember that

  • getsetgopk on January 13, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    Ajmal is the kind of bowler that never loses his temper which is a far more important ingrediant for a bowler especially a spiner because a spiner needs to have his thinking cap on all the time and use his gyle to deceive the batsman, he's probably trying to upset the batsman by such statements, how much this psychologically dents English batters remains to be seen, game on!!!

  • on January 13, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    The "teesra" is nothing new, ive been bowling that since i played in my garden as a child and can bowl it with leg and off spin actions.

  • dmqi on January 13, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    Just see India's condition in Australia, already 3-0 in utter humiliation. England is showing their strength with the PCB Board XI right now. So, Pakistani supporters who are dreaming of 2-0, 3-0 are definitely having a nice day dream. Wait another 4 days. You will wake up. Doosra, Tesra may not work.

  • JG2704 on January 13, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    @ Dravid_Gravitas on (January 13 2012, 05:20 AM GMT) - Sorry , it wasn't meant as a dig - I only did at those who show no respect to us. I would also be frustrated in your position. It may be that India wouldn't be competitive with whatever line up/formation they played but it seems ridiculous to not change anything when things are going so badly wrong

  • Moiz1 on January 13, 2012, 11:27 GMT

    @ Ritadhi Chakravarti: You should be more concerned about India's batting and bowling failure on a pitch such as Perth's where Warner scored the fastest test hundred as an opener LOL

  • YorkshirePudding on January 13, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas, I know how you feel being a follower of England since the early 1990's, and having lived through some real ignomy, England going below zimbabwe in the rankings, I think even BD could have beaten us at that time. I still have the mental scars, where I'm very pessimistic about any revival, even now I cantt help think this is year Engalnd going to go slip back down (as they did after 2005). India are just in need of a rebalancing, at least 2 of the Big 3 are being picked on reputation not on Performance. Take heart the lows teach us to appreciate the Highs knowing that the lows are still just a series away.

  • 5wombats on January 13, 2012, 8:53 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas on (January 13 2012, 05:20 AM GMT) - mate, steady on! Always respect your posts so listen; when England were getting pummelled by Australia in the 1990's it was tough for all Poms like me living and working in Aus who had anything to do with the game. My response was to strap on my pads go out there and show them that not all Poms were useless. I learned a deep respect for the way Australians play their cricket, and they learned that Poms had just as much passion as they did! Wombats understand your passion - but don't let your passion bring you down! Love the game.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 13, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    @JG2704, I said, I repeat, I said at the beginning of this series that we need to play five specialist bowlers. Why would Dhoni listen to me? Oh, yes, at last, I lost all hopes on my team and given up on them. I followed them religiously from South Africa to Sydney, never giving up on them. I'm gutted to say the least. I think I've been mentally abused by my own love for my team and test match cricket on one hand, and my team's and my team captain's horrible cricket on the other hand. It'll take a while for me to recover from this mental abuse. I want to take some time-off from everything related to cricket. Hope people don't misconstrue it as running away from cricinfo. What to do? My daily routines are getting badly effected, burdensome and my legs feel so heavy to even attempt walking a block or two. This is the lowest I've felt in my life as a direct result of the disappointments in our cricket. Well, I want Pakistan to win. But best of luck to your team and you all as well.

  • sohailus on January 12, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    Nobody knows how much his new delievery will effect the game. I'm strongly in favor of bowlers to invent a new delievery that can make their cricketing career longer. Can't wait to see his new interesting delievery. Wishing both teams a very good luck for their future. Definately, strong team will win. We have to wait and see.

  • 5wombats on January 12, 2012, 23:22 GMT

    @landl47 - zippers, crushers, snorters. LOL. I can see that you are running into prime form just in time for this series!

  • on January 12, 2012, 22:57 GMT

    Saqlain made a lot of hype about the 'teesra' in March 2004 when India toured Pakistan. People were flummoxed as to what ball this was. Later they discovered that this was the delivery Sehwag kept depositing over mid-wicket with a great deal of frequency. Saqlain co-incidentally never bowled another ball in international cricket after unveiling the teesra. Ajmal needs to remember that. Hopefully, he will also keep his arm straighter while delivering the teesra; straighter than what his arm is when he bowls the 'doosra'!

  • JG2704 on January 12, 2012, 22:54 GMT

    @ Dravid_Gravitas on (January 12 2012, 18:40 PM GMT) - You given up on the Indian side then? I'd say India definitely need to employ an extra bowler to stand any chance. Hope you guys at least don't get whitewashed. We don't want the Aussies catching up too much

  • JG2704 on January 12, 2012, 22:54 GMT

    @ RandyOZ on (January 12 2012, 11:59 AM GMT) - Not sure exactly how good Ajmal is in relation to Warne. Obviously if he's that good we have problems. If he's more like a Lyon , Beer or Xavier Doherty there should be no problems. Still Xavier wasn't all useless - the name scores well in a game of scrabble

  • Shan156 on January 12, 2012, 22:42 GMT

    @RandyOZ, Pakistan fans would thank you for elevating Ajmal to Warne's level. It is a myth that England are poor players of spin. A few of them are not great against spin but not poor either. KP has always played spin well. Bell has improved - he played Bhajan and Mishra well in England. Trott did well against Ajmal in England. However, it looks like a few of the England batsmen haven't had enough time in the middle. They have one innings to get used to the conditions. I doubt if England will play 5 batsmen, Prior, 2 spinners and 3 pacemen. So, Morgan can be assured of his place. But, he needs to improve and soon. I believe England will come out on top but it will not be as easy as against the Indians at home. And, this is only w.r.t tests. Pakistan should win the ODIs easily.

  • on January 12, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    you are right should be easy for england to win i just wish asif and amir be around pakistan would had easily blowen england out of the planet

  • YorkshirePudding on January 12, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    Those saying ajmal troubled england in 2010, 12 wickets @ 29.4 apiece (SR 62) is hardly troubling english batsmen, especially when you consider Swann took 22 @ 12.2 (SR 29) on green wickets without any mystery delivery, doosra or otherwise, just variations in flight and rotations.....In order to do a 'warnie' (I've got a new delivery) you actually need a rep like Warne, Ajmal doesnt have that yet.

  • rivernile on January 12, 2012, 21:20 GMT

    @mari2619 - Harbijaan is the best spin bowler in the world? Seriously? Dude, he doesn't get selected by own cricket board! So now that Panesar is showing his colours, does that mean England will go with two spinners? I guess Swann can be considered an all rounder. If indeed England does go with two spinners, then they lose out with one of their top batsmen or pace bowlers.

  • Nutcutlet on January 12, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    @Alan Harrison & JG2704: Yes, Abdul Qadir. On his day one of the best that Gooch faced - Warne included, IMO. @Sam Kapila: Gooch's last test v Oz Feb '95. I can't see that Gooch played against Warne after that match - after all, Gooch effectively retired from fc cricket in 1997, although he played a fc match in 2000, if memory serves me right, it wasn't for Essex v the Australians as they weren't touring! So, pedantically, I think I have that one ;-) . Call you a pedant? Why? I hardly know you! Best wishes anyway.

  • bumsonseats on January 12, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    hes a good bowler i would put him just below that great australian spinner lyon. who we all know will finish with wickets just below those equally greats, warne and murli. dpk

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 12, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    I like this mind games by Saeed Ajmal. Lovely. Now Gooch, don't think of flying cows and pink elephants. Lol...This is going to be one heck of a series, way better than the one-sided contests my country (India) is involved in right now.

  • Pak_Guru on January 12, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    More than the Teesra the spin department ( Ajmal, Rehman & Hafeez) can be more effective if Pakistani close in fielders take advantage of tbe chances that they get during the test series. The pace bowling attack ( Gul & Cheema) also depend very much on slip fielders. I hope Umar Akmal gets a chance as keeper.

  • phoenixsteve on January 12, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    @Landl47.... wow! What a great retort and supporting 'spin' for Monty! I hope the Pakistani batsmen get to read it - it must be worth at least 2 wickets! I can see all these complicated 'new' deliveries confusing the likes of Cook, Strauss, Pieterson and co - they will definitely be in two minds when facing them. ("Do I hit this tripe for 4 or 6?") Seriously, it should be a good series and gives England a chance to show just how good they are? COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • on January 12, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    @Sam Kapila he said he played against shane warne most of his career i doubt it though cant imagine how even if there playing career overlapped...

  • on January 12, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    Classic @RandyOz.This is the same Strauss with 100's against Warne on more than a couple of occasions...

  • Cricket.Nellore on January 12, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    @mari2619: I am an Indian, Bhajji is a very good bowler but not ""Harbijaan is the best off spinner in the world"" If so then what is he doing now, india needs him in Aussies..FYI.. HE IS DROPPED FROM THE TEAM

  • bumsonseats on January 12, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    warne or murli he aint just a good spin bowler no better or worse than the 2 spinners available to england in their squad. pakiistan play good quality spin no better than england. monty had them in a spin in manchester 2 tours ago and their team had 3 great players of spin in their team in those days. looking at todays score card maybe england will go in with 2 spinners, but i would not bet on it. monty if playing for the aussies would be in their side every game. he unlike lyon spins the bowl, hell man hes even a better batter and fielder than lyon. dpk

  • on January 12, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    By now Ajmal must be giving the english batsmen sleepless nights. NO doubt Gooch will have to down play Ajmal's Teesra (mystery delivery).

  • on January 12, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    lets wait till 1st test...

  • on January 12, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    S.Ajmal, Abdur Rehman and M.Hafeez are not going to be easy to handle for the english team. teesra or no teesra. this spin attack is best in the world. i hope the pace attack comprises of J.Khan and M.Talha.

  • ali14pakistani on January 12, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    Well David I hopps Gooch dreams on!!

  • ali14pakistani on January 12, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    Yes Ajmal, give it to 'em!!!

  • RandyOZ on January 12, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    Would be fair to say Ajmal will rip through this attack. If you want evidence just youtube how Strauss and Bell played spin against Warne, classic!

  • on January 12, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    @Nutcutlet - Did Gooch say TEST career or did he just say career? Now call me a pedant, but you really should learn to read what's on the page. Their careers overlapped for 10 years. 1990-2000...

  • on January 12, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    With all respect to Ajmal and so called famous notion that English Players are not good players for spin, we must keep in mind that they are being coached by one of the finest spinners of his days i.e Mushataq, a Pakistani off course. Mushataq is with them for quite a long period time (in fact many years) now. Infact, if I got remembered correctly, he was the man who took wicket of Gooch in world cup final that was won by Pakistan and paved the way for the further onslaught. And I also remember that Gooch was supposed to be one of the best player of spin bowling in his times. Any way, keep the finger cross, I love to find that Ajmal remain successfuk whatever he do, but my mind says that Mushtaq would have given quite a good lesson to cope with the Ajmal.

  • RednWhiteArmy on January 12, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    All this rubbish about a "new delivery" reeks of desperation to me... Anyway i hope he trys heaps of new deliveries against England because our batting line up will PUNISH anything slightly short, full or wide!

    Lets not forget the form:

    Australia 1 - 3 England England 4 - 0 India This will be another win for the England!

  • AlanHarrison on January 12, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    @ Nutcutlet: you're absolutely right that Gooch's career did not overlap with Warne's in the way that he suggested. However when you say 'there are very few top class spinners that Gooch played against from what research I have done' one very significant exception is Abdul Qadir. I remember Gooch remarking during his career about how difficult it was to play against Abdul Qadir. (Some indeed rate Abdul Qadir as a better bowler than Warne, though he bowled in a more difficult era.) If Ajmal wants a role model for how to beat England, he doesn't need to resort to Shane Warne-style bluster, kidology and mind games, but instead consider how Abdul Qadir repeatedly ran through the English batting in 1987.

  • on January 12, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    Ohh Zahidsaltin u disclosed it :( ........... anti climax

  • JG2704 on January 12, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    @Nutcutlet on (January 11 2012, 22:52 PM GMT) Not sure what WC spinners he would have played against or how he did against them. Qadir , Bedhi and M Singh spring to mind. However one inns stands out vs India in a WC semi final I think where Gooch swept his way to 100.

  • khurramsch on January 12, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    i think in the end this series is all about batting.specialy of pak batting. in practice matches. only 1/2 of english batsman did something & cook consistant. so i think it will depend on pak batting who they will face. meanwhile monty has made a point today by 4 wickets

  • Cricket.Nellore on January 12, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    Waseem akram, Saqlain, Waqar, Aamir are really an innovative bowlers and has taught people with great tricks in swing, spin .. ajmal may also join them.

  • chiggers on January 12, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    It will be interesting to see how umpires, particularly those at square leg, view this or any similar 'new' delivery, especially in the light of previous issues with the delivery of the doosra by bowlers around the world.

  • on January 12, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    The pak team has to only hold on to their catches. then Ajmal and company wil prove to be a hand full to the english batsmen. but that is one part of the story. as far as english bowling is concerned, it is their bowling that will be tested in these conditions.

  • Mary_786 on January 12, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    Harbijaan is the best off spinner in the world, ajmal doesn't even come close and i think even the pakistan fans would agree with that.

  • on January 12, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    whether teesra or no teesra, one thing is sure Ajmal is playing on their minds. Even last year in England Ajmal did trouble them a lot.

  • Dronaa on January 12, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    England have strugggled against spinners anyways, so all this hype about Saeed Ajmal bowling a 'teesra' is quite unnecessary. As Gooch pointed out, Ajmal is a class bowler, so that itself will be a contest. As far as the magic ball there is a talk every now and then about some spinner coming up with a different kind of ball, but it all peters out without a fuss. There was talk made about the 'carrom ball' and initially it looked to be a work of art, but then batsmen watch out for such odddities. And there is no saying what a bunch solid thunks would do on the psyche of a spinner. The likes of Sehwag, Warner, Clarke, Darren Bravo Pietersen would hardly bother what kind of ball it is ... if they have made up their mind to blast it to oblivion. I think its just a gimmick this 'teesra' just to unnerve the Enlgish batsmen. One hopes Ajmal comes up with a decent performance against them, instead of falling flat on his face

  • Chino666 on January 12, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    The finger spinners top spinner isnt anything new. If the offspinner pushes his wrist towards the off he will produce more top spin than side spin and guess what it goes straight and bounces. Sometimes the ball will even hit the seam and go away from the right handed batsman. I remember the A grade spin bowler at Ingle Farm (local club side) explain how he used it in club matches.

  • YorkshirePudding on January 12, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    'New mystery delivery', meh, with the exception of the Doosra there have been no new deliveries invented for sometime, the 'Sodoku' and 'Carrom' balls are varitions on each other, and developed in the 1940's/1950's by an Australian called Jack Iverson, and used by his successor (Gleeson (sic)). All od Warnes 'New' deliveries were variations in spin, just that warny liked to get play mind game with batsmen, but then he had the reputation and aura, Ajmal doesnt quite have that Aura yet.

  • landl47 on January 12, 2012, 5:11 GMT

    What Pakistan doesn't realise is that Monty Panesar has used his time away from test cricket to develop a whole range of mystery balls, like the 'zipper', that pitches just short of a good length and rolls straight along the ground in a sharp curve; the 'snorter', which pitches in the rough 2 feet outside a right-hander's offstump and kicks stright up in the air, hitting the batsman's helmet snd dropping on the wicket and the 'crusher', a ball which he bowls from his normal action at 140kph that hits the batsmen square on the toes. Not to mention the 'nurdler', which turns square on the second bounce and hits the wicket sideways on. He can also bowl with either hand, which is very useful as it means he is always able to pitch in the rough whether to a right- or left-hander. Will he unveil these balls in the upcoming series? We shall see.

  • Mohmd.Ali on January 12, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    Cool. Everything seems to be fitting in for a good season of cricket.Very much looking forward to ajmal's new delivery. Mind it! It has been Pakistani's in the past who introduced the doosra and we may as well bowl the theesra now.Bowling has never been a big problem for us on the ground. It is the batting I hope that clicks and Pakistani team carry on their previous form.

  • AmjadZork on January 12, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    Come on Ajmal, we want you on top of this world !!!

  • landl47 on January 12, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    Ajmal is 34 years old, has played only 17 tests and taken 83 wickets @30.16. 50 of those wickets have come in 2011 against the fearsome batting line-ups of (wait for it) West Indies, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka- that's right, the Sri Lanka that was just bowled out for 43 and has lost 4 test series in a row. It sounds to me as though Ajmal needs to concentrate on bowling regular stuff, not fiddle about with mystery balls. England has a weakness against good spin bowling, but then, who hasn't? Murali, Warne and Kumble didn't take all their wickets against England. England did just fine against Mishra last year, 0-170 in a game where Swann took 9-208. I'm sure Ajmal will do his best to bamboozle England and England will do their best to overcome him. That's why they play the games.

  • on January 12, 2012, 4:26 GMT

    Gooch has got the anwer from Yasir Shah in practice match about the abilities of English Players against top class spin and he will get the clearance in the field when they will face ajmal, rehman and hafeez... Gud Luck Pakistan

  • satish619chandar on January 12, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    @iBilal : I do agree but BD are better players of spin than England.. It all depends on how much spin the track is going to offer.. Swann can be a bit negated due to lack of lefties in the middle order.. He is at his best against lefties.. If the track offers minimum assistance to spin, Pakistan ll have the upper hand.. I predict draw if the track is flat like against SL..

  • ARad on January 12, 2012, 1:17 GMT

    Does Ajmal bend his arm by more than the allowed degrees? It often looks like that.

  • Sinhaya on January 12, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    England will get hammered 3-0 in the tests for sure! Ajmal please expose this overrated English team.

  • Zahidsaltin on January 12, 2012, 0:37 GMT

    BELIEVE ME IT IS REALLY ON. I was watching pakistan practice in Lahore and I saw some of Ajmals balls just staying low, straight and zipping fast after landing. This ball wasn't bouncing more than 12-16 inches. At the same time some of his top-spinners were bouncing to waist hight. I hope he does that in a match situation.

  • on January 12, 2012, 0:11 GMT

    england were totally clueless against yasir shah today. pakistan need a real leg spinner in team pakistan should give a chance to yasir he is very good fielder and knows how to stay at wicket.

  • Gopu84gk on January 11, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    Go ahead Ajmal and do the tricks successfully.

  • UmairNasir on January 11, 2012, 23:40 GMT

    The author of this article also looks obsessed and has some grudge with Pakistan team. The author writes 'His doosra troubled England during the spot-fixing tour of England in 2010'. Wouldn't 'tour of England' alone have sufficed? Additionally, the English should accept that Ajmal has got qualities which other spinners dream.

  • Tigg on January 11, 2012, 23:02 GMT

    @Suleman Khan The Teesra is not Ajmals invention it's Saqlains. Bhaji could bowl it as have one or two other spinners. At the end of the day it isn't a new delivery, it is a delivery that goes straight on. It's a top spinner (something a large portion of world spinners can bowl) or an arm ball (something all can).

  • PACERONE on January 11, 2012, 22:56 GMT

    We used to say get to the pitch of the ball...bat close to pad.Play straight . Keep you eyes on the ball..this is not baseball...no guessing. Know your opponents weak points and bowl accordingly.that is why Warne,Gibbs and Murli could bowl that well.

  • freo75 on January 11, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    Honestly - what a load of rubbish. Any offspinner knows that the best variation comes from subtle changes in flight and a good arm ball. All this talk of a mystery ball is nothing more than natural variation and kidology.

  • Nutcutlet on January 11, 2012, 22:52 GMT

    Gooch's memory - or his maths - is failing him. Gooch's test career 1975-94; Warne's 1992-2006. Now, call me a pedant, but I just can't make two years out of fourteen 'most of his [Warne's] career'. In fact there are very few top class spinners that Gooch played against from what research I have done. His was primarily an era of high-class pace. I have, and have had, my doubts about his coaching for spinners. He was an opener, of course. Personally, I believe that Graham Thorpe was a far better player of spinners, esp. on subcontinental pitches (which the UAE strips are not, but from reports the wickets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are similar). England's ability to play Ajmal & co will put my qualms to bed re: the coaching if they are successful, but England's players have not been tested against top class spinners for a while. I remain cautiously optimistic, nonetheless.

  • on January 11, 2012, 22:49 GMT

    though im interested in advantages for bowlers by new deliveries i wouldnt pay too much attention to a new delivery as i am sure that if pakistan do the basics right they have a right shot!... i dont think its gooch who was talking about it either but may be a journalists question which has probably been blown out of proportion to hype the series up alittle more... believe me this series doesnt need the hype as realistic fans from both sides know his will be a good contest and slightly unpredictable....

  • Khan1983 on January 11, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    Just to refresh the memory of the English middle order - what Ajmal is talking about ,here's when they faced him last time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poAkJP2eOKI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  • on January 11, 2012, 21:25 GMT

    First of all he will bowl a teesra !! Doesnt matter which way it goes or how much it bounces, it will be his invention !! The one saqlain invented he decided to call it "jalebi". And yes there is a footage of it on youtube. Ajmal doosra will be more effective thats for sure !! By the way England cant even handle yasir shah ??!! acheam acheam ...

  • KashifMuneer on January 11, 2012, 21:22 GMT

    There is not a single batsman in the world who can read which way Ajmal will spin the ball so it doesn't really matter to batsmen if he has another variation. Sometimes Ajmal can get predictable based on where he is pitching the ball (like outside leg to a right-hander). Ajmal just needs to make sure his line and length doesn't give away the type of delivery and he will continue to reap huge benefits. Toss will be very important as if Pak win the toss then 4th innings will be extremely tough for England and my money would be on Pak to win. I am talking about the 1st test as English batsmen will still be "adjusting" and it would be the best time for Pakistanis to win a test.

  • Talubar on January 11, 2012, 21:16 GMT

    I think Warne has admitted he has 7 different name for his straight one too.

  • on January 11, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    I wish he invents the choota !! :) :d

  • spence1324 on January 11, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    Ah the normal mind games from pakistan take no notice.

  • Khan1983 on January 11, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    Hahaha, Ajmal knows how much the English are psyched about him.i will give anything even to be a fly on the table where Trot, Bell,Morgan and peiterson is sitting at the moment.Having said that, chill out guys, Ajmal is bluffing, the teesra,he did try in last series and wasn't doing much!then again even that can be deadly for spin-naive English!

  • JG2704 on January 11, 2012, 20:27 GMT

    no trash comms so far but I'm sure the usual suspects will return soon enough. It's obviously mind games as it gives the English batsmen - who apart from Cook - are still finding their way out there something more to worry about. I'm not sure if he has this new delivery or not but it seems from what I gather that England have plenty to worry about whether he has a new delivery or not

  • haroonalvi on January 11, 2012, 20:16 GMT

    Hahaha......didn't take long for an Englishman to come out with his obsession with Saeed Ajmal's secret ball........Its all psychological, if anyone tells you not to think about pink elephants, no matter how hard you try, it'll keep on coming up.

  • 5wombats on January 11, 2012, 19:52 GMT

    Gooch is right. This is just the usual mind games. Pay it no attention.

  • DrAtharAbbas on January 11, 2012, 19:34 GMT

    Even before delivering the first ball, it is very well played by Saeed Ajmal: Bowling is all about creating confusion in the mind of the Batsmen. He has certainly made the Brits thinking here on Pehla Doosra and Teesra. . .

  • kabe_ag7 on January 11, 2012, 19:21 GMT

    Forget doosra and teesra, I doubt England would be able to negotiate his pehla.

  • iBilal on January 11, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    thats true, no need for hype... Ramiz tweeted earlier that Ajmal had tried this against BD and was shot for fours. Since then, the teammates are calling it the 4runs-delivery... :D

  • on January 11, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    One thing is for sure if Ajmal was supported by fast bowlers and fielders, along with DRS, then England would be in great trouble to score over 200 or 250 in whole test series, while on the other hand their batting line can score over 300+ especially in UAE conditions, so bit of concentration is all that required with sensible short selection rest is OK. On the part of England they have to just stay and play as long as possible without losing wickets and needs someone to do the job for that purpose, while overall it will be the test of batsmen from both sides no pressure on bowlers, run rate would be around 2.5 like old classical style and no team would cross 400 mark and results would be in Pakistan's favour with 2-1, ODI 3-1, and T20 would be 3-0

  • Dannymania on January 11, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    Wow.English Cricket management is undoubtedly the best when it comes to intimidate the opposition with their media tactics.Pakistanis do have the history of getting intimidated by this kinda stuff and we'll just have to wait and see how it all goes.But,Yasir shah,the only Pakistani spinner who's come against England on this tour,took 5 wickets right away!Just saying.

  • phoenixsteve on January 11, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    Good for Goochie not buying into Pakistani hype! It's interesting how the psychological wars develop and what gets said and by who! Very often the 'spin doctor' ends up with egg on his face. Let's hope the England boys don't succomb and that they do their talking with bat and ball? I'm looking forward to a tight contest after weak oppostion in the past year or two. Or could it be that England are just that good? It'd be nice to think so but there's a long way to go to be compared with the mighty Windies and of course the Aussies of the past! Come on England!!!

  • Erebus26 on January 11, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    I concur with Goochie and will state that this an attempt at mind games by Saeed Ajmal ahead of the test series. But at the same time this guy is one heck of a good bowler and will be a real threat. Surprised he didn't get noticed by Pakistan a little sooner.

  • cricket_fan_1980 on January 11, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    Its going to get tricky out there Goochy :) The coveted English lineup couldn't even negotiate Yasir Shah, who is probably the 7th or 8th in line for a spot in the team as a full spinner. I don't think Ajmal even needs the "teesra" against the current English line up ;) the doosra will probably do

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  • cricket_fan_1980 on January 11, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    Its going to get tricky out there Goochy :) The coveted English lineup couldn't even negotiate Yasir Shah, who is probably the 7th or 8th in line for a spot in the team as a full spinner. I don't think Ajmal even needs the "teesra" against the current English line up ;) the doosra will probably do

  • Erebus26 on January 11, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    I concur with Goochie and will state that this an attempt at mind games by Saeed Ajmal ahead of the test series. But at the same time this guy is one heck of a good bowler and will be a real threat. Surprised he didn't get noticed by Pakistan a little sooner.

  • phoenixsteve on January 11, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    Good for Goochie not buying into Pakistani hype! It's interesting how the psychological wars develop and what gets said and by who! Very often the 'spin doctor' ends up with egg on his face. Let's hope the England boys don't succomb and that they do their talking with bat and ball? I'm looking forward to a tight contest after weak oppostion in the past year or two. Or could it be that England are just that good? It'd be nice to think so but there's a long way to go to be compared with the mighty Windies and of course the Aussies of the past! Come on England!!!

  • Dannymania on January 11, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    Wow.English Cricket management is undoubtedly the best when it comes to intimidate the opposition with their media tactics.Pakistanis do have the history of getting intimidated by this kinda stuff and we'll just have to wait and see how it all goes.But,Yasir shah,the only Pakistani spinner who's come against England on this tour,took 5 wickets right away!Just saying.

  • on January 11, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    One thing is for sure if Ajmal was supported by fast bowlers and fielders, along with DRS, then England would be in great trouble to score over 200 or 250 in whole test series, while on the other hand their batting line can score over 300+ especially in UAE conditions, so bit of concentration is all that required with sensible short selection rest is OK. On the part of England they have to just stay and play as long as possible without losing wickets and needs someone to do the job for that purpose, while overall it will be the test of batsmen from both sides no pressure on bowlers, run rate would be around 2.5 like old classical style and no team would cross 400 mark and results would be in Pakistan's favour with 2-1, ODI 3-1, and T20 would be 3-0

  • iBilal on January 11, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    thats true, no need for hype... Ramiz tweeted earlier that Ajmal had tried this against BD and was shot for fours. Since then, the teammates are calling it the 4runs-delivery... :D

  • kabe_ag7 on January 11, 2012, 19:21 GMT

    Forget doosra and teesra, I doubt England would be able to negotiate his pehla.

  • DrAtharAbbas on January 11, 2012, 19:34 GMT

    Even before delivering the first ball, it is very well played by Saeed Ajmal: Bowling is all about creating confusion in the mind of the Batsmen. He has certainly made the Brits thinking here on Pehla Doosra and Teesra. . .

  • 5wombats on January 11, 2012, 19:52 GMT

    Gooch is right. This is just the usual mind games. Pay it no attention.

  • haroonalvi on January 11, 2012, 20:16 GMT

    Hahaha......didn't take long for an Englishman to come out with his obsession with Saeed Ajmal's secret ball........Its all psychological, if anyone tells you not to think about pink elephants, no matter how hard you try, it'll keep on coming up.