Pakistan v England 2011-12

Mastering Ajmal - a guide

Saeed Ajmal played for Worcestershire in the 2011 season and several players managed to score runs against him. ESPNcricinfo gets the thoughts of two of them of how to play the Pakistan spinner.

Alex Winter

January 24, 2012

Comments: 100 | Text size: A | A

Saeed Ajmal appeals for a wicket, Pakistan v England, 1st Test, Dubai, 3rd day, January 19, 2012
Saeed Ajmal didn't have everything his own way in county cricket last season © Getty Images
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England may have been bamboozled by Saeed Ajmal in the first Test in Dubai but county cricket fans will know that scoring runs against him is not quite as difficult as England made it look.

Ajmal played three County Championship matches for Worcestershire last season, taking 17 wickets at 27.70. He took 6 for 124 to bowl his side to victory against Sussex at Horsham but was on the losing side against Yorkshire at Scarborough and against Somerset at New Road.

Nick Compton, the Somerset batsman, and Andrew Gale, of Yorkshire, were two players who made runs against Ajmal.

Somerset racked up 591 at New Road on their way to an innings victory. Compton scored 91. "I stood on off stump and looked to play very straight," Compton said. "Ajmal's not a big spinner of the ball and his main weapon is pace through the air, and I felt it was better to play him off the front foot. The fact that he can skid it on and it might not bounce as much or go the other way, if you sit back I think you're guessing and you haven't got as much time to react.

"If you get right out and play with the bat in front of the pad I think you're going a long way to having a good defence and when you have that against someone like Ajmal it's easier to pick a few areas to try to score."

Compton shared a partnership of 151 with Marcus Trescothick, who made 203. Compton limited his scoring options to the fine sweep or driving down the ground against Ajmal, who took 5 for 150. "Generally runs were coming from the other end so there was no need to take any risks against Ajmal," Compton said. "I don't see the reason why you'd need to try and dominate him. You have to identify matchwinners and try and take them out of the game. Spinners tend to like you attacking them.

"Going down the ground is not a good option at all. If you're not reading someone very well it's a dangerous prospect because he doesn't bowl slowly and you have the ball fizzing out of his wrist. To get down the wicket is very difficult and shows you're not trusting your defence."

By contrast, Andrew Gale decided it was important to try and be positive against Ajmal, who took four wickets in the match against Yorkshire. "I went over the top a couple of times and we looked to be aggressive against him," he said. "We talked about it and thought he was the man that was going to win the game for Worcestershire, and we felt if we could be aggressive and take him out of the equation they would have to go to someone else, even if we lost a few wickets doing it. If you just try to survive against someone like that, eventually he's going to get you."

Gale made 72 in Yorkshire's first innings on their way to a six-wicket win at Scarborough. "I was looking for any sort of width. I was batting on leg stump and trying to drive Ajmal through extra cover. Because of how fast he bowls and because it bounces a bit at Scarborough, my plan wasn't to get too far forward. I was more comfortable going back and using the pace of the ball."

Both players said it wasn't too hard to pick Ajmal's doosra and Compton felt by playing forward he took the mystery ball out of the equation. "I didn't feel it was something I needed to pick," Compton said. "If it was short you had time to react, if it was full I'd get nice and forward with my hands right out in front of me to play the ball nice and straight. The doosra's never going to turn yards, it's only subtle turn."

"I found him all right to pick," Gale said. "When you go in and you've never played against a mystery spinner before, you will always struggle to pick those sorts of guys. But with time at the crease you get used to it. "

Alex Winter is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Rahul_78 on (January 25, 2012, 9:22 GMT)

Ajmal is a class act. He troubled Indians who are among the best when it comes to playing spin in there own backyard in world cup semifinals. As he is not a big turner of the ball and bowls with much flatter trajectory he does not depend so much on the pitch as some other spinners do. He is very clever with his pace, angels and use and rotations on the ball along with use of the bowling creez. No doubt world class batsmen will get used to him ones they play him more in the match scenario but there is no doubting his talent. Credit must be given where it is due.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (January 25, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

@JONATHAN JOSEPHS . AJANTHA MENDIS . LOOOL HE WAS A ONE SERIES WONDER JUST LIKE OUR ISHANT SHARMA , AFTER THAT SERIES AGAINST INDIA HE HAS BEEN TOTALLY FLOPPED , SANGA DIDN'T EVEN INCLUDE HIM IN THE TEST TEAM DURING THE 2010 TEST SERIES AGAINST INDIA .

Posted by East_West on (January 25, 2012, 7:22 GMT)

Ajmal - much ado about nothing! in few years he will be like any other spinner! he only played few tests versus so many other spinners so obviously he is not yet analyzed fully by many opponents! if he is that good, then how come he was NOT drafted by Pakis long time back!! after few years he will be a pedestrian... until then, he is going to create a havoc, Mark my words!! all asian teams have this habit of making big every other cricketer - look at India, Pakistan, bangla and Sri Lanka! Swann is another overrated guy!!!

Posted by   on (January 25, 2012, 6:37 GMT)

@the_blue_android.. what world do you live in?? Murali played a total of 25 matches against zim and bangladesh taking a total of 177 wkts amounting to just over 7 wkts per match against both teams... against eng he has 16 matches and 112 wkts amounting to exactly 7 wkts a match... so its pretty obvious that england are one of the weakest at playing spin. So if your saying that Ajmal is as good as Murali based on 1 match against England your way out of line. Am not taking anything away from Ajmal just setting the_blue_android straight.

Ajmal is a brilliant bowler and troubled even the best batsmen against spin. But, I wouldn't compare him to Murali just yet.

Posted by   on (January 25, 2012, 6:18 GMT)

@spence1324: His name suggests he's an Indian not a Pakistani.

Posted by me_rony on (January 25, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

It is typical English mentality, no matter how miserable they are.....if someone do well against them then they'll start treating him like he is the best, in order to dignify themselves

Posted by the_blue_android on (January 25, 2012, 5:34 GMT)

@Johnathanjosephs, quality wise, Ajmal is a much better bowler than Mendis and even Murali. Ajmal would have taken 800 test wickets too if he played 150 test matches and 60 of them against ZIM and BANGLA..

Posted by   on (January 25, 2012, 5:31 GMT)

@glance_to_leg I am in total agreement with your comments. In fact its good to see some competition in world cricket. I am a Pakistan fan and would love to see Pakistan prosper but would also like to see competition for No.1 race. But every team should be given its due respect.

Posted by   on (January 25, 2012, 5:23 GMT)

England are giving Ajmal too much attention. As a result, Abdul Rehman is going to disturb them more than Ajmal in this match.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (January 25, 2012, 5:04 GMT)

Whoaaa... The English are making Ajmal to look like Ajantha Mendis or even Murali. Just beware of the doosra like they have been aware of from Harbhajan in England last year and realize that there will be only a touch more spin. Ajmal is a good spinner, but he's no Murali and the English are overhyping this only to hurt themselves more

Posted by SyedArbabAhmed on (January 25, 2012, 5:03 GMT)

That is what v called nightmare for english batting, they have bad dreams of him.

Posted by Hammad-Hasan on (January 25, 2012, 5:00 GMT)

lol hahahhahaah i never saw anything like that before. A bowler is on whole nation's mind :D Keep it up Ajmal :D

Posted by thair9999 on (January 25, 2012, 4:48 GMT)

@landl47 why is so hard for English to admit that someone else can play good cricket? There is no doubt that current English team is #1, but they lost badly. Just remember there are 11 players and Ajmal is not one man team.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (January 25, 2012, 4:44 GMT)

@LANDL47 . ANDERSON HAS PLAYED MORE THAN 60 TESTS & HAS TAKEN ONLY 243 WKTS WITH AN AVERAGE OF 30+ . IN THAT TOO HIS MOST WKTS ARE CAME FROM GREEN PITCHES , IN ASIAN PITCHES HIS RECORD IS ORDINARY . I DON'T RECALL HIM AS A CHAMPION BOLWER .

Posted by shahbazhussain on (January 25, 2012, 4:25 GMT)

No matter how easy he is to play, how an average spinner he is... the best thing is to take note is that the bowled the best team OUT in entirety... so forget about 2011. Focus on events coming ahead. The english supporters are trying to reduce the impact of mind games by demoralizing Ajmal's past performances. Not a big deal. Keep on doing that, they will perform in the field. Wish you best luck team Pakistan.

Posted by cricket_fan_1980 on (January 25, 2012, 3:33 GMT)

Ajmal is a good spinner, certainly greatly improved in the past 8 months or so, but he isn't one of the greatest yet. I think he does deserve his top ICC ranking, because currently he could be the best spinner out there, for sheer lack of true spinning greats around. I think Ajmal may be able to get there. His speed and wicket-to-wicket line are his strengths, and the doosra is the icing to a decent spin cake. It doesn't turn much and that is actually what gets many batsman. However, I think the reason he is bowling very well recently is because he is part of a very well-rounded Pakistani bowling attack, where Rehman, Hafeez, Gul (and Afridi in ODIs) are all putting immense pressure on the batsman from the other end and not letting them settle. I would attribute his success in the last test to the support bowlers. They just didn't let England settle. Sometimes, a single weak link bowler can give the opposition all the pressure release they need. Pakistan don't have any like that

Posted by Meety on (January 25, 2012, 2:38 GMT)

@rahulcricket007 - or pick Compton, he's a Saffa!

Posted by   on (January 25, 2012, 2:36 GMT)

Tendulkar was bamboozled by Ajmal in the semi final at Mohali; just watch the video and see how the great Tendulkar was struggling against him.

Yes he is playable however on his day he can be unplayable too.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 25, 2012, 2:35 GMT)

There are a lot of stupid posts against this article. Lots of people criticising England county batsmen for giving advice when they haven't played international cricket when those same people are happy to provide advice when they themselves haven't even played first class cricket or ever faced Ajmal. Wake up people! These batsman would have been specifically asked for this information by the journalist. It's not like they're ringing up Andy Flower and telling him what he should do. So many people just want to be critical of anything. Yay for the internet for giving such people a voice. These guys played Ajmal and they were successful and, when asked, they are explaining what they did. That's all. Get over yourselves.

Posted by Ramfromlanka on (January 25, 2012, 2:11 GMT)

Wow...another arm chair expert writing.... Alex, there is something called as Condition as well.....greatest of greats have faltered when the conditions were not favourable....and do you by any chance think the dull english weather would inspire any spinner during the county.....I still feel, batsmen getting out rather than Ajmal being excellent in those english conditions

Posted by world.cricketer on (January 25, 2012, 0:32 GMT)

all indians will be happy to see 1-0 result after 3 tests but i think pak will beat atleast 2-0

Posted by landl47 on (January 25, 2012, 0:29 GMT)

Ajmal is 34 years old. He's been around for years and for most of his career he hasn't been able to get into the Pakistan team. His test average is about 28. He's taken 93 test wickets, 60 of them in the last 12 months against mostly weak opposition (and I include England's performance in the first test in that). He's not a world beater. Of course he's playable, as long as the choice of shots is right. I think on these pitches Compton has it right; get out and play him straight down the ground. Make him drag it down short and then he can be played off the back foot. The thing not to do, which far too many England players did, is hit across the line to straight balls- that's why he got so many LBWs. Matt Prior in the first innings was able to play him without too much trouble; the other England players need to take note.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (January 25, 2012, 0:22 GMT)

Trust a yorkshireman to finally speak a bit of sense about how to play Ajmal. Get him in the side for the last test, if they haven't lost the series by now.

Posted by clouds1231230 on (January 25, 2012, 0:14 GMT)

i think the english side has a very brilliant batting combination and i am sure they get enough training mentaly by watching bideos of ajmal and in training in net practice,and i am sure they are ready to face ajmal ,if england achives 250 plus thn Pakistani batsmen will get pressure and at the last inning england give the target of 280 or 300 thn i am sure england can win ,,and i suggest england select penesar in 2nd match..

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 23:58 GMT)

Lol. Ajmal has succesfully preyed on the mind

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (January 24, 2012, 22:20 GMT)

LOL!! they make him sound like a pace bowler bowling at 100mph+ !!!

Posted by glance_to_leg on (January 24, 2012, 22:02 GMT)

I don't understand why so many people are making anti-English comments. I am an England fan, and feel that Pakistan have been shabbily treated recently. I am now delighted to see them doing well again. The delight of cricket at the moment is that there are several sides that an aspire to the number one spot; it is so much more interesting than the long periods of W. Indian and then Aus. domination. I was extremely pleased when England assumed this status, which they were able to do on the basis of brilliance in Australia, and wins at home. Of course, they look weaker playing good sub-continent spinners away. This makes for interesting cricket. To query Ajmal's action (it does look odd to me, but he was NOT no-balled and I haven't seen complaints from the team) or to discuss ways in which he might be played is NOT sore losing. I think Eng were pretty honest in admitting they were dreadful; Pakistan were excellent. I hope for a better next match, because I love cricket not any one team.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 21:43 GMT)

@spence1324 firstly i dont think mithilesh is pakistani.... slightly ignorant but i have come too expect these kind of responses from you secondly i think he isnt refering to being masters of cricket...

Posted by spence1324 on (January 24, 2012, 21:42 GMT)

@rahulcricket007 no I stand by my comments, he was taking a cheap and politicly unnecessary pop at england so I just stated the facts thats all.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 21:33 GMT)

Now pakistan come as a better unit in test odis and t20 and they will beat england 3-0 in this series inshallah let's see englishmans what wil pakistan do with u....:D

Posted by ajmal1988 on (January 24, 2012, 21:24 GMT)

Yeah, easy to pick him, so why aren't England bringing these players to play him then? Bell is suppose to be a good player of spin and same with Morgan, cut them out and get these guys into the team. Top players of spin like Mahela Jaywardene struggle against ajmal, then who are these freshies?

Posted by applethief on (January 24, 2012, 21:09 GMT)

@cric_fanatics This is a little unfair. Michael Hussey (and Cameron White) played a freakish innings, chasing a big target at the end of a T20 game in the semi-finals of a tournament. Fact is, Ajmal (and Alam) should never have been asked to bowl at that stage, and Pakistan got what they deserved. It hardly ended his career; it was a fine innings Australia. As is plain to see, Ajmal has gone from strength to strength, and the English cricketing world completely misunderstands his doosra. It's not bowled with the off-spinners action at all, it uses the middle finger to impart spin out of the back of the hand, and this can be disguised as a conventional off-break with a similar action, hence not a chuck at all. If there's any lesson to take from Hussey's innings, it's that the best way to play Ajmal is positively, and to play for runs, not to bat his overs out.

Posted by hhillbumper on (January 24, 2012, 21:08 GMT)

maybe what they need to do is play straight.pick him and hit him.of course its easy from behind a lap top but at the end of the day if England play like they can than Pakistan are beatable.So much of the game is between the ears.And with a coach who played spin for fun and one great leggie as a coach it should not be beyond them

Posted by DrAtharAbbas on (January 24, 2012, 21:04 GMT)

It is so Funny: Play forward, be aggressive, be defensive, be this, be that, these are the expert advices; no one is even suggesting, how to read from his hand. These so called "experts" giving advice, themselves have no clue. AMAZING, isn't it? ..............................West Indians in Pakistan tried to play Abdul Qadir from the pitch and results were score like 53 all out. If you cannot read a bowler's hand, you won't survive long, whatever your strategy is.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 20:41 GMT)

He is an amazing spinner. Saw him play before this series too. Was quite impressed. He'll be the next Saqlain for pakistan.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 20:33 GMT)

england had no clue against Ajmal, and these guys are sounding as if Ajmal is a part timer, each one of them boasting about how easy to pick him up, basically they are trying to boost their resume for a place n english team

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (January 24, 2012, 20:24 GMT)

@spence1324 . RANINGS ARE FLAWED . ASK THIS TO US INDIAN FANS WHOSE TEAM IS STILL SOMEHOW AT NO.2 BUT ARE PLAYING LIKE NO. 100.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 20:05 GMT)

i love the fact, that now England are struggling all the people who have played Ajmal before and can play are trying to help England but its not going to work. Ian Bell England's best player of spin was bamboozled by Ajmal not once but twice shows how good Ajmal is.Loads of people knew how to play murli and he still got plent wickets !

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 20:04 GMT)

@Charlie Ellis, I must say ur comments are the most balanced one among all, i am fully agree with you.. from the very ist day of ist test, almost every writer here commenting how eng lost to PAK, no one really trying to say the word PAK Defeated Eng...now see this article, they are asking those abt ajmal who have never seen the international arena... lol.. I advise them to go & ask Mike Hussy how to tackle ajmal.... also they may come to pak, & ask those domestic players who are playing with or against ajmal during off season....... i m sure they will have much better opinion......Give the credit with open heart when it is due.. Give respect to Ajmal :)... Good luck PAK for tomorrow.

Posted by LordOfCric on (January 24, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

This editor kept throwing words and kept comparing Ajmal's Dubai performance to his county without even realizing that County cricket don't happen in Dubai or Sub Continent. Its s different ball game when you are playing in Sub-Continent. Pitches are way different forgoet about county he wasn't successfull either when Pak toured to Eang last time. Scoring against ajmal spin in Sub-continent is not easy he is a quality act..............................................

Posted by haq33 on (January 24, 2012, 18:27 GMT)

I read Steven Rhodes comments in The Mirror and realised that many many Englishmen still speak and behave with simple honour and decency. Saeed Ajmal is not a cheat. It has been years now since a 15deg bend was first etched into the ICC rulebook, and historically, as many non-subcontinental bowlers as subcontinental ones used it - but we never whinged about them. The doosra is an art, just like reverse swing always was. Now that England's bowlers can reverse swing, it's kosher and wonderful. Whinging and dishonourable Andy Flower should get a 15deg bowler on his team - even take one off Pak or some other commonwealth nation - I don't care as long as it stops the whining! I can honestly say that if England invented the doosra, you wouldn't hear us complaining - we would just take it on the chin, smile and develop something better. But keep calling us cheats and you will inevitably get another Oval-gate.

Posted by izazkhan on (January 24, 2012, 18:19 GMT)

Nobody can stop ajmal for a while...England has to show some respect to him...but expect some good knocks from Peterson and prior in the next match though... Hope this series is played in the good spirit :) cheers

Posted by bohurupi on (January 24, 2012, 18:13 GMT)

Try not to divert attention from the team work of Pakistan as a whole to an individual's success. There had been days when Ajmal had "dry run". In the second innings of the Dubai test he was less instrumental than Gul. it is not only spin or Ajmal that England had trouble with facing Pakistani bowlers after the post Imran/Akram/Younus era as young Mohd. Ameer, not a spinner, did troubled England a lot. So, please don't try to find an excuse for every defeat England suffers.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 18:06 GMT)

well... if Gale and Capton are that good why they are not playing for the national side? I guess the blocks are just trying to give a push to the morale of the guys in the middle. Nothing more. Sure they may have managed Ajmal better but that was in (1) England, (2) Different Pitches, (3) Different Conditions, (4) County Cricket, (5) Different Captain's Strategy, (6) Ajmal may have not had the chance to read them as required before they played against them, and (7) that was some time ago. I am very much sure Ajmal can do well against anyone no matter how skilled they are. He was pretty successful against SL who are the better players of the spin.

What will happen tomorrow, no one knows. But for sure he is far better player thn what these mates have said about him. English players will be ready tomorrow to face him if they come to bat. And I am sure Ajmal will be ready to bowl to the best players in the present test cricket. It will be good to watch.

Posted by srivatsan on (January 24, 2012, 18:02 GMT)

Nick Compton, the Somerset batsman, and Andrew Gale, of Yorkshire are probably the next Donald Bradman lol... Ball never spins in England except for unusually warm summer test or doctored wicket. May be both mean that is the only way to play Ajmal.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 17:59 GMT)

Well it was just that england were too nervous just by the hype of Teesra although it was hardly bowled. The doosra did the job for them. Its a fact tht Ajmal varies his pace and length which the english batsmen find it hard to go through. It should be noted tht Ajmal has spent 12 years in domestic cricket before making it on the international scene. And the period he spent during those days there was only one off spinner on top and thts Saqlain mushtaq!!!

Posted by Zamana on (January 24, 2012, 17:58 GMT)

Aren't these approaches contradictory to each other? Just emphasizes the overall confusion in the England camp.

The teesra that Saeed Ajmal' referred to was actually Adnan Akmal, who turned up to be the trump card.

Posted by Zamana on (January 24, 2012, 17:58 GMT)

Aren't these approaches contradictory to each other? Just emphasizes the overall confusion in the England camp.

The teesra that Saeed Ajmal' referred to was actually Adnan Akmal, who turned up to be the trump card.

Posted by spence1324 on (January 24, 2012, 17:47 GMT)

@k.mithilesh 'the poms are no longer the masters' since we are 1st and you are 5th in the world rankings I would beg to differ!

Posted by prashkannam on (January 24, 2012, 17:45 GMT)

;\POMMIES G3ET SOME CONF8ENCE BCK ENGLAND TEM HAS BEEN IN COMFORT ZONE BASICALLH\Y PLAYKM @ HOME AND DOESNT DERVE NO 1 RANKIHG!!!

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

@Alex Winter: So you are judging Ajmal on the basis of results of few matches and not on the basis his skills?? I mean this is childish.

Posted by mgondal on (January 24, 2012, 17:25 GMT)

England were given Ajmal surprise at Dubai.They will surely do their homework on him. Give them new surprise in the form of Junaid replacing Cheema. keep guessing..

Posted by mgondal on (January 24, 2012, 17:25 GMT)

England were given Ajmal surprise at Dubai.They will surely do their homework on him. Give them new surprise in the form of Junaid replacing Cheema. keep guessing..

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (January 24, 2012, 17:17 GMT)

MAY BE ENGLAND SHOULD INCLUDE SOME MORE SOUTH AFRICANS IN THEIR TEAM LIKE KALLIS , AMLA WHO ARE MUCH BETTER PLAYER OF SPIN . THIS CAN SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM .

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (January 24, 2012, 17:17 GMT)

MAY BE ENGLAND SHOULD INCLUDE SOME MORE SOUTH AFRICANS IN THEIR TEAM LIKE KALLIS , AMLA WHO ARE MUCH BETTER PLAYER OF SPIN . THIS CAN SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM .

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (January 24, 2012, 17:17 GMT)

MAY BE ENGLAND SHOULD INCLUDE SOME MORE SOUTH AFRICANS IN THEIR TEAM LIKE KALLIS , AMLA WHO ARE MUCH BETTER PLAYER OF SPIN . THIS CAN SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM .

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (January 24, 2012, 17:17 GMT)

MAY BE ENGLAND SHOULD INCLUDE SOME MORE SOUTH AFRICANS IN THEIR TEAM LIKE KALLIS , AMLA WHO ARE MUCH BETTER PLAYER OF SPIN . THIS CAN SOLVE THEIR PROBLEM .

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

First this article made me LOL and then when I thought about it a bit more, it made me LMAO!

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (January 24, 2012, 16:52 GMT)

I think, the fact that he doesnt spin it much makes it really dangerous. Big spins are sometimes easier to adjust to. Abu Dahbi is a totally flate wicket which doesn't offer much to the bowlers so it will be easier for English batsmen to play Saeed Ajmal here. I see a draw coming out at Abu Dahbi. English batsmen are more afraid of Ajmal than they should be and it is more of a psychological effect which can take them down. I remember, how they used to make videos and analyse for days before offering their wickets to him in bundles.

Posted by bobmartin on (January 24, 2012, 16:48 GMT)

Maybe some of you guys are reading too much into this article.. I would suggest that Compton and Gale, who have scored runs against Ajmal in county cricket, were asked how they coped with him. I didn't read anything that either of them are quoted as saying that indicates advice to the England batters. Both of them have been around long enough to know, that different pitches require different techniques, and that was proved in their answers. But the essence of the article is, that it is possible to score runs against Ajmal, nothing more, nothing less. At the end of the day, this is journalism, not coaching. The England batters wont take any consolation or tips from Compton and Gale, They know that tomorrow, or whenever they next face Ajmal, its an entirely different scenario from Worcester or Taunton or wherever...

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 16:47 GMT)

Haha what a joke. I don't think these batsmen will ever make it to international matches. Advice to English Batsmen, don't listen to them !

Posted by keptalittlelow on (January 24, 2012, 16:45 GMT)

I have never seen someone dominating a nations mind as much as this poor chap called Ajmal. What if Gul or Junaid or Chima make England batsmen bite the dust? thats called FEAR my friends.

Posted by KarachiKid on (January 24, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

@KashifMuneer - very good observation !!

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 16:36 GMT)

let us wait and see, how the england batsmen will be bamboozled again... best of luck to Ajmal...

Posted by zain.ul.abideen on (January 24, 2012, 16:33 GMT)

my friend, this article is going to unnerve the english batsmen even more against ajmal instead of helping them. But 10 points for trying, cheers.

Posted by k.mithilesh on (January 24, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

Why are English such sore losers? Why can't they appreciate a talent that has got better of them? Saeed Ajmal got them tangled proper and mowed them down at his own sweet will. Poms this is a post-colonial world and you people are no longer masters. So bow down to talent and let it prosper instead of caluminating. So there is talk about suspect action. Well you don't matter anymore.

Posted by cricket_fan_1980 on (January 24, 2012, 16:29 GMT)

Off-spin on English wickets is a subtly different art form, and the effects can be immense. Swann completely outbowled Ajmal in the 2010 series in England, and in this test here at Dubai, Ajmal outbowled Swann. Also, England's top 6 do not need advice from county specialists who have never played International Cricket. Also, there advice was quite ridiculous, completely contrasting and fairly obvious. Another important factor that Ajmal has reiterated hundreds of times, many times in Urdu newspapers and media forums, is that he uses different approaches for different wickets and conditions (as does every good bowler), so making 72 for Yorkshire against an attack with Ajmal means nothing. Pretty un-researched article I have to say, poor quality, because clearly Ajmal is trying different things here. Also, he is greatly improved from the last few years. I doubt he uses all his passion and menace in a county game, instead he uses it to practice, all International players do.

Posted by abhilash0799 on (January 24, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

ajmal isn't stupid enough to go about revealing his special deliveries in county matches,....he reserves his best deliveries for more important matches......that's why he is still a mystery in international cricket even after playing for so long......and playing spin in eng and in asia is very different........eng have to play well in asia too if they r to be regarded no.1......

Posted by Omarrz on (January 24, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

This article clearly shows how desperate and afraid English cricketers and fans are! All the above mentioned players played Ajmal in England. This is Asia (England please read: Alien) for God's sake! Unless English media/cricketer/fans don't come out of their shell, they won't be able to digest any defeat that is due to come upon them!

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 16:11 GMT)

well in clubs players let these kids to play some shoots n enjoy(2 who r giving advice).swan says ICC keep n eye on bowlers who bowled 2sra ,,swan come to Pakistan let us teach you how to ball 2sra...wm wondering what will happen to this number world test side when ajmal launched 3sra in this match,looks like English suffering with ajmal phobia lolx after 2nd match Pakistan lead series 2-0 England will lost 1 position in ICC

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 16:06 GMT)

This is what we call Ajmal Fobia !!!

Posted by MASQ on (January 24, 2012, 16:01 GMT)

Fair enough... I saw the Saeed's wickets again and again. The basic problem with English players the couldn't get the length of Ajmal's deliveries. Just see it was fuller delivery to Strauss which he tried to pull. English players need to pick the length of deliveries. If you the miss the length of delivery then a minor spin will be highly effected. But Ajmal did a great JOB, we need to admit.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

Mr.Alex but this is a very poor article! All I need to say "conditions are different"!! Ajmal bowling in England and Ajmal bowling in the UAE is a massive difference. And to those two who faced Ajmal in the County, who are they? Go and face Ajmal now (in the nets at practice session, as they could not make it in the national squad. -.-) and then make comments how to play Mr.Doosra !

Posted by MASQ on (January 24, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

I think county cricket and match in UAE is entirely different. You can't take the advise from a player, it would be much better if you get some suggestion from some cricket gurus, these 2 players are sharing the experience. But they don't know after those innings how many international players victimized by Saeed Ajmal, its a game of nerves and skills, when Saeed Ajmal was playing in county cricket then just few other club bowlers were bowling with him. But it is quite different when on the other hand, GUL or A. Rehman managing other end. Yes England try to grabbed S.Ajmal in 2nd innings well but you saw how GUL and A. Rehman did their JOB. Pakistan have so many match winning performances and Saeed Ajaml effort was exceptional.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (January 24, 2012, 15:48 GMT)

" HE IS NOT A BIG TURNER OF THE BALL " . WELL MR. COMPTON & GALE , IT'S NOT NECESARRY FOR A SPINNER TO TURN THE BALL SHARPLY FOR PRODUCING WKTS , OUR INDIAN SPINNER KUMBLE WAS ALSO A NOT BIG TURNER THE BALL BUT HE STILL HAS 600 WKTS IN HIS TALLY . AND BOTH OF YOU ARE SAYING THIS SO EASILY THAT AJMAL IS NOT A THREAT AT ALL , WELL I WOULD LIKE TO SEE HOW WILL YOU HANDLE AJMAL ON ASIAN PITCHES WHERE BALL DOES SO MUCH THINGS FOR SPINNERS .

Posted by umairasgharbutt on (January 24, 2012, 15:47 GMT)

what a joke by the writer, they played him in england where there was not very good condition for spin and england is now playing in uae where ball turns alot. just waste of time :/

Posted by cric_fanatics on (January 24, 2012, 15:43 GMT)

Hussey almost destroyed ajmals little career..same happened when gambhir played him with ease all day during the asia cup..So just attack him and hes done for the day.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

ajmal is out class. he is no 1

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 15:37 GMT)

I just love the current English obsession with Ajmal!

Posted by bilalAWAN on (January 24, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

I think these guys should come in pakistan and play in pakistan's domestic competition then we will see how they play against any ordinary spinner on spinning tracks. I m sure their averages will be less than 20.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 15:21 GMT)

ROTFLMAO!!!! The toads have come out of the sand after the rainfall :)

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 15:20 GMT)

Reading this article made me smile and i now firmly believe that ajmal has really created minefield in the minds of English cricketers but if they will concentrate too much and only on ajmal then second inning fate will be in waiting when Gul run thru top order .It will be a miracle now if Eng fight back in this series though they are best test side and they deserve to be no. 1 i respect strauss 11 alot for their achievements but here to turn the table upside down is extremely difficult .

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 15:19 GMT)

there is only 1 way to play ajmal, and as much as i hate tio say it , its 'hussy style' , either go big or go home!

Posted by Nduru on (January 24, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

I had to laugh during the last test. When Pakistan played Zimbabwe in September (on a strip that normally has something for the spinners) we were told that Tino Mawoyo was not reading Ajmal's doosra at all. But, he went on to make 163 no out - almost as much as the whole England team together in the first innings. I wondered how a batsman can be so lucky that he can score 163 while not reading a bowler like Ajmal's famed doosra. He must have been bowled at least 30 of them and survived every time! In the test against England I truly saw what happens to batsmen who are unable to read Ajmal. This put Mawoyo's knock into perspective: clearly he was able to read Ajmal even if his shots looked clumsy. Maybe the commentators just could not admit that he was batting effectively against such a good bowler? Or perhaps England need to approach Mawoyo for some of his lucky potion?

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 15:12 GMT)

Funny stuff. These two have given totally different description how to play Ajmal. I wonder which advise will England take. Abu Dhabi will not take much turn and it will be a flatter wicket which will help English Batsmen anyway.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 15:12 GMT)

hhahaahha poor eng! no.1 team has to learn to play a spinner!

Posted by InnocentGuy on (January 24, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

HA HA HA. The title had me in splits! "Mastering Ajmal - a guide". So all international batsmen, here is a step-by-step process to scoring runs against Ajmal. Step 1: xxx; Step 2: xxx; Step 3: xxx. Voila! There's that elusive century. Yay!

Posted by Ehsan_Satti on (January 24, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

Gale and Compton should be call on for tomorrow test to save England from Ajmal Masscare. What a piece of junk this article is? Guys who stopped even dreaming to play international cricket, now come forward to give a bit of advice to their national team. Go Ajmal Go

Posted by KashifMuneer on (January 24, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

The difference in the technique used by the 3 guys mentioned shows that its not their technique that made them successful. Anyone knows that you go forward to full deliveries and back to shortish deliveries. The difference is the conditions that they play under and what homework Ajmal has done. These guys wouldn't stand a chance against Ajmal on Asian wickets and if Ajmal has done his homeworkk against them. That is precisely what has happened to English batsmen and will continue to happen I/A.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

...But there's hell lot of difference in the approach when cricketers play for clubs and counties and when they play for their country. And its uniquely true for Pakistanis for sure.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 14:11 GMT)

So, now two guys who never played international cricket are giving advice to international test batsmen on how to bat against spin in UAE?

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

This is ridiculous. Ajmal totally bamboozled England in Dubai, fair enough, but how are Gale and Compton's opinions going to help?! They faced him in English conditions, conditions in which this England batting top 7 have all faced him before, and done well in the home Test series in 2010. In that series (and I'm not taking anything away from Pakistan's improvement or England's woeful approach on most Asian wickets) Swann (22wickets@12.2) consistently outbowled Ajmal (12wickets@29.4). Though Ajmal did pretty well and it was generally a low scoring series, Trott and Prior both averaged more than 58 (any coincidence they were the only ones who looked remotely useful in Dubai?!) and even Broad layed into him during his big Lords ton. So England's batsmen already know how to play Ajmal as Compton and Gale have, in England. They need to find a way of doing so on Asian wickets and practice what they preached pre-series, about accumulation, concentration and winning the war of attrition.

Posted by Silent-Assassin on (January 24, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

gee... i wonder why England arn't playing these batters =P... im sure they are no where near the class of Bell and Trott... and they are making it look so simple. UAE pitches are different to English pitches Alex =)

Posted by MD1985 on (January 24, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

Well if u guys are so good why arent u in the England line up. Just accept the fact HE's Not Easy to pick!

Posted by mhb1 on (January 24, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

mr compton sir thats the reason why you arnt in the national please let your bat do the talking if you are so confident about ajmal than thats good for you but we also got gul, rehman, cheema, junaid, wahab & the lists goes on confidence is good but over confidence is worse..

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

Well, England need to focus on their second test, and i always pray for pakistan and wish them good luck, because team pakistan has potential to send english batsmen off the pitch, and english team has very strong batting line which needs to be stand this time, Good Luck for both Teams

Posted by golgo_85 on (January 24, 2012, 14:02 GMT)

Would love for them to face Ajmal now, with the form he is in right now. Why not draft these so called Ajmal specialists in who are clearly not good enough to be part of the actual squad!

Posted by aaaaatif on (January 24, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

I think playing Saeed Ajmal in a county match is much easier than playing him in alien conditions of subcontient. To compound that, he is now playing for Pakistan, so the intensity would be much higher than playing for a county team. Furthermore, English batsmen are now under pressure against him and that makes him even more dangerous for them. So...........it is going to take something special from English batsmen to come out of his strangle at least in this series.

Posted by   on (January 24, 2012, 13:42 GMT)

Well that doesn't seem to be much help for the English bastmen. Quite varied approaches from the various county batsmen. And that just shows there is no one correct way to play Ajmal. You have to play to your strengths, just like these county players did. If England management come up with a 'Dummies Guide to Playing Ajmal' and want all batsmen to follow that,it will certainly backfire them. Each batsman should look at the footage of the first test and see how they could have played those balls differently without changing their game too much. Finn for Tremlett should be the only change for England. While I think Pakistan can choose any player between Asad Shafiq/UmarAkmal and Wahab Riaz/Junaid Khan without compromising the strength of their side.

Posted by iBilal on (January 24, 2012, 13:31 GMT)

well, lets see if it helps Eng. I agree that Ajmal is not that bigger of a monster as Eng have made him look but he is not to be taken lightly in any case.

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England won by 5 runs
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England v Pakistan at Dubai (DSC) - Feb 23, 2012
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