Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2013-14

Ajmal wants more spin in Sharjah

Umar Farooq in Sharjah

January 14, 2014

Comments: 115 | Text size: A | A

Saeed Ajmal went wicketless on the second day, Pakistan v South Africa, 2nd Test, Dubai, 2nd day, October 24, 2013
Saeed Ajmal: "I have been playing in Dubai for the last six years, but haven't seen such a bad response here" © Associated Press
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After listless performances in the first two Tests in the UAE, Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal has called for pitches that provide more support for spinners. He rued the lack of help from the surfaces in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, after managing only five wickets in those two matches but has vowed to bounce back in the Sharjah Test.

He was wicketless in the second innings of the first Test for 49 overs, conceding 115 runs, and had to wait another 28.2 overs in Dubai to take his first wicket, making the stretch 77.2 overs. In a 32-Test career, Ajmal has never had to wait as long for a wicket: his previous longest wait was 41.1 overs, in the first innings against England at Lord's in 2010 and he ended with figures of 2 for 126 from 44 overs.

"I have been playing in Dubai for the last six years, but haven't seen such a bad response here," Ajmal said in Sharjah. "The ball used to turn in Dubai during the previous matches that we played, but this wicket was good for fast bowlers and was not supporting the spinners. I did a lot of hard work but couldn't get a result, but I have never been disappointed with my cricket and will try to perform."

The PCB had flown their own curator to the UAE along with Intikhab Alam to help the local curators prepare the pitches in UAE for the series but Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said the tracks are not the type they wanted for the series. For Sharjah there are two pitches being prepared, and Ajmal suggested the tracks will be batsmen friendly.

Since May 2011, Ajmal has bowled 1931.3 overs - the most by any bowler in international cricket during the span - but isn't worried about the workload. "We don't play that much Test cricket there's no workload," he said. "I was rested for Afghanistan match, I did rest in South Africa, I was rested during the series against the West Indies so whenever team management gives me rest I do get and whenever they think I should play I am completely positive with this.

"No there's no pressure either, it's cricket and there are ups and downs," he insisted. "I don't feel that if the performance is not good in the last two matches I should be disappointed, I am doing the hard work and will bounce back. The ball isn't spinning and they are playing cautiously, if I had got some spin the result would have been different, they are relaxed while facing me and keep the bat inside and that's why they are playing me well."

When asked a good bowler is always a good bowler, regardless of any sort pitch is, he replied: "The wicket was very slow and whatever abilities I had used it, but I didn't get any support even on day five. The ball didn't spin but yes it shouldn't be a problem and I am not disappointed, I always play positively and inshallah I will do better."

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

RSS Feeds: Umar Farooq

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (January 16, 2014, 6:16 GMT)

there is no doubt that Ajmal is far better than Ashwin or Herath. His variety is unmatchable at the moment.Ashwin is good only when when curator prepare rank turners.Even then he fails against classy batting(like Cook and KP demolished him).Regarding Kumble- he is the greatest match winner in test cricket for India.

There is no doubt that Ajmal is great bowler. Still i think Warne and Murali were a class apart. Kumble is greatest after Warne and Murali in my honest opinion.

Posted by   on (January 16, 2014, 6:05 GMT)

well well well. if MSD or Ashwin had said the same thing, all hell would have broken loose!! World's best spinner asking for more assistance from pitch? :P Hmm..

Posted by siddhartha87 on (January 16, 2014, 3:04 GMT)

@usman ghani

have you checked Warne's record in Asian subcontinent.

In Lanka 48 wickets in 9 tests at average 20 UAE 16 wickets in 2 tests with average 9 in Pakistan 18 wickets in 3 matches average 28 In India 34 wickets in 9 matches average 43

true he failed in India . But still he has 127 wickets in Asia (average 25 SR 52) which are great numbers.

ON the other hand Murali always failed in Austrlia and his record was mediocre at best in India.

p.s-Ajmals average in Asia is 27 and SR -62 still far behind Warne even in Asian conditions

Posted by t20cric on (January 15, 2014, 21:56 GMT)

I'm not sure why a lot of people are criticizing Ajmal when every team prepares pitches according to their strengths (the whole point of a home advantage). Although it is quite sad that now Pakistan's strength is spin when before they were always one of the best fast bowling nations. Yes Herath did get wickets on that same pitch but you also need to take into account that our batting is just horrible (if you don't believe me then just remember that Tahir singlehandedly won the test for SA against us). In the test tomorrow Herath and Ajmal will probably run through each others line ups.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 20:27 GMT)

@Vinod Tommy - Agreed with current state of pakistani batting - but its amazing to see that India being a leading spin friendly country could never produce better spinners than pakistanis - Abdul Qadir, Saqlain and now Ajmal - Kumle was good but not bette rthan his contemporaries - anyways its high time for indian to ponder when their leading spinner Ashwin goes toothless against SA - remember AJmal has plus 5 wkts per match average against SA on home and away.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 20:05 GMT)

Whereas Herath remains an averag ebowler who took wickets not because of his caliber but form and skill of pakistani batsmen - Ajmal still is the best spinne rin the world - Dale Steyn went wicketless for 60 overs on a southafrican track .. does that make him go down of his class? ??

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 20:01 GMT)

Shane warne took 30 percent of his wickets against a fragile and the most weakest batting line against the spin - England, he was a great bowler but can not be better than Murali , who always produced results be it any team or any ground - i have seen Warne failing against asian teams in asia - my top spin bowler is Murali

Posted by vinodtommy on (January 15, 2014, 19:38 GMT)

what a covering of afraid of loss of the test series ? In your own den u din't won. pakistan is not good test playing nation, you loss the chance in the first test. ajmal spin not working on subcontinent players like india, srilanka,bangladesh. they played spin very well

Posted by rezauk on (January 15, 2014, 16:40 GMT)

siddhartha87

Good point but remember spin alone doesn't get hundreds of wickets it's the inclusion of bounce which turns the game.

Posted by Nawab67 on (January 15, 2014, 16:39 GMT)

Did I hear this correct? Wow what a turnaround. Didn't pak supporters say they have the best pace attack in the sub continent and they prefer GREEEEEEEEEEN tops!!! Why on earth are requesting spinning pitch??

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 16:34 GMT)

Well well well. You are not a match winning bowler Ajmal. I have not seen you winning a match for pakistan in crunch situations or holding your nerves. You are good but not the best.Mentaly strong people can only take wickets in test because you have to think . You have to think to make a batsman out. I am sure that if you start to analyse the batsman against you then you can match in the likes of shane warne or Murali Tharan. See on a flat surface even Herath is beter than you. Donot blame the Pitch blame your self and your Attitude of bowling on flat tracks.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (January 15, 2014, 15:36 GMT)

comments like this shows how great Shane Warne was. He played 70% of the cricket in seamer friendly wickets and took 700 test wicket.Kumble and Murali were brilliant in England and South Africa too. Thats why bowlers like Herath and Ajmal can never be counted among upon all time greats.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 13:51 GMT)

Herath needs more spin in Sharjah, and if there is more spin I'm sure Herath will run through the Pakistan batting line up. Ajmal will be a big threat too

Posted by mzm149 on (January 15, 2014, 11:40 GMT)

I hope this time Pakistani selectors will choose playing XI with some sense

1. Shan Masood 2. Ahmed Shehzad 3. Azhar Ali 4. Younus Khan 5. Misbah ul Haq 6. Mohammad Hafeez 7. Sarfraz Ahmed 8. Abdur Rahman 9. Saeed Ajmal 10. Mohammad Talha 11. Junaid Khan

Posted by stormy16 on (January 15, 2014, 10:37 GMT)

I dont see what the fuss with Ajmal is as Herath has failed to deliver as well. They are both world class acts and cannot be expected to deliver on wickets condusive for seam bowling. I think Pakistan took the view of preparing seam friendly conditions expecting to out bowl SL seamers but it back fired and in the bargain the spinners went of the equation. Cant have it both ways I guess and no point looking at Ajmal for answers.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 10:35 GMT)

@wapuser : So Ajmal should get the wickets of Dimuth & Sangakkara easily! But he didn't get those wickets also..So it's an useless point to say Herath is a left arm spinner and Pakistan having 10 right handers & that's why Herath is taking more wickets.

Posted by khs_shk2000 on (January 15, 2014, 10:23 GMT)

When Dhoni becomes angry if he is not getting the pitches which suits to his bowler so what is wrong if Ajmal ask for spinning track ( this is so called home series for pak and somebody else preparing the pitches what a shame). Now they did the right thing they called the pak curator ofr sharjah pitch.

Posted by xylofon on (January 15, 2014, 10:01 GMT)

It shows the class of Pakistans bowling that even if you pressure a proper team like Lanka to play ULTRA SAFE and not take a wicket then youre considered out of form or whatever. I think the whole thing is ridiculous. One test match gone wrong and people are upset. I dont get it.

Ajmal is king and thats that.

Posted by Nuwas on (January 15, 2014, 9:21 GMT)

@wapuser : so you're into stats&all right? k lemme get this for you. Pak is a team of right-hand batters & quite evidently its Hearth's fault that Pak has no left-batters right?? SL got 3 left handers none of whom ajmal could get out during the last 4 innings & im pretty sure he would've done much more better if we had all lefthand batters. Herath's wickets: 1st match; Misbah-ul-Haq,Saeed Ajmal,Rahat Ali,(1st inn) Ahmed Shehzada(2nd inn) 2nd match; Saeed Ajmal,Rahat Ali,Junaid Khan(1st inns) Ahmed Shehzad,Misbah-ul-Haq,(2nd inn). only wicket more of a tail-ender than recognised batsmen & yeah "he was mostly getting tailenders out" right?? and please enlighten us with what exactly would've been "different" "If Ajmal was bowling against 10 left handers"??? Please make some sense comments & leave our Herath out of this mess.Afterall this article is all about Ajmal & he is one of the GREATs undoubtedly, he will bounce back,you don't have make ridiculous efforts here to cover up for him.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 9:09 GMT)

I think Ajmal should not blame pitches but to be focused on the game. We can consider that he wasn't up to his best during the last 2 test matches. He has to bounce back to prove once more that he is the no. 1 bowler.

Posted by CricPissu on (January 15, 2014, 9:07 GMT)

If he is a world class spinner, he should not be asking for spinning tracks. Also appears that he is a bit of a 'cry baby'...and with a little bit of arrogance. They completely under estimated SL's batting capability.

Posted by rshan on (January 15, 2014, 8:26 GMT)

Sri Lanka had a plan against Ajmal and the batters did well not to concede him wickets. If he's asking for a turning wicket in Sharjah, I'm sure Sri Lanka will be up to the challenge and are well prepared. But, Pakistan should also bear in mind the threat from Herat. Except for Younis and Misbah who plays spin well, the same cannot be said of the rest of the new blend of Pakistani batsmen that have been playing much of their cricket outside the sub continent in pace or batting friendly wickets. However, Sharjah is reputed as a batting wicket with a sheen on top, which was seen during the ODI's. Unless, the curator have turned things around, it can be a high scoring game. Fourth and fifth days may assist spinners, but not much like in Galle or Kolkatta. Therefore, a 5 wicket haul in an innings (equivalent to having scored a century for a bowler) for Ajmal can be ruled out. More disappointment, I'm afraid!!!

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 8:17 GMT)

That's why murali is the best off spinner all time.he can turn the bowl in glass

Posted by wapuser on (January 15, 2014, 8:11 GMT)

The reason herath is getting SOME wickets is because he is a left arm spinner bowling at 10 right handers. Obviously a big advantage and even then he is mostly getting tailenders out. If Ajmal was bowling against 10 left handers we might have been looking at something different.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 8:01 GMT)

Everyone has bad days. Just because ajmal performs well in some matches, doesn't mean that he will perform well in every match...

Posted by yorkslanka on (January 15, 2014, 7:40 GMT)

I can't believe how people re slating Ajmal, he is a class act. He may have had a poor game last test but class is class..

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 7:06 GMT)

people have missed his media talk. he said it clearly that SL played me better and with caution. so he gave credit to SL batsmen as well.

Posted by Nuwas on (January 15, 2014, 6:10 GMT)

@LeoE lol what??? Herath a mediocre bowler ??? ranked 04th on TEST rankings even only playing 3 test matches during last year.... you called him mediocre ???

Posted by CUPULW on (January 15, 2014, 5:48 GMT)

The weather in Middle East may have had an impact on the pitches. Temperatures have been very low and incase people did not know, there was snow in Egypt after 100 years! There was rain in Dubai and Abu Dhabi too. Unless the curators manage to "bake" the piches, they will be more like European than tropical. From the little i saw of the matches, will not say the pitches helped seamers much (in comparison with Australia of course :) ).

Posted by F22R on (January 15, 2014, 5:30 GMT)

Dont say Ajmal is not better than Herath. As a Sri Lankan i believe Ajmal is the this generation's Murali (at least most close to Murali). Since Swann decided to retire,Ajmal and Herath are the best Test spinners in the world today. Considering PAK fast bowlers, should admit that x factor had with past PAK fast bowlers are missing in current attack. Thats worrying because PAK, SA are the top nations produce greatest of fast bowlers more that AUS, ENG Cricinfo Pls Publish...

Posted by Iceman29 on (January 15, 2014, 5:28 GMT)

This guy is one of the arrogant cricketer i have seen..He does not respect the opposition players no matter how much of a legend he is and he does not praise the opposition if they play well...somewhat similar to Dhoni who never praises his opposition for playing good cricket...

Posted by musa441 on (January 15, 2014, 5:19 GMT)

@ All NooB commenters who commenting that Ajmal is not a good bowler he cant pick wickets on unsupportive wickets and herath and others are better. well to all of you answer me this question which spinner out of herath, ashwin, swann, etc have taken 10 wicket haul in south africa?? can any one tell me?? ajmal has done that !!last year!! now dont say that south african pitches turn more than UAE!! u will be kidding me if you say that!!secondly just 2 bad games doesnt make a world class bowler ordinary!! look at herath figures in 1st test and look at his figures in the 2nd innings of the 2nd test!! 132/2 and also one more thing herath got 3 wickets in the 1st innings with the help of the fast bowlers!! if the fast bowlers havent removed younis and misbah early then i dont think herath would have been able to get more than 1 wicket!!again I m not saying that herath is bad bowler i m not some one like u guys who are hypocrites!! Dont write off ajmal or herath both. grow up kiddos!!

Posted by priya65 on (January 15, 2014, 5:02 GMT)

I think evveryone has to acknowledge the fact that Sri Lanka played better cricket. Apart from the first inning of the first test they were competing fiercely. They never gave up when partnerships grew. Pace bowlers bowled with lot of heart. One should acknowledge the work Vaas is doing behind the scenes. he is a result oriented player. Pakistan thought that they could always rely on Ajmal. Sri Lanka netralized him by playing him with lot of respect but not giving him the wickets. That is what broke the back of Pakista, Apart from that SL played the pacies well. They never scored in excess of 400 but they won one and dre the other with advantage on their side. The win SL earned was devoid of assistance from pitch which is great. Sri lankan captain too was very proactive. Wicket keeper jusstifed his inclusin at the expense of anothe bowler or a barsman. Ajmal was unsuccessful because SL neutralized hi,.

Posted by Worldcricketlover on (January 15, 2014, 4:59 GMT)

Pakistani supporter were always claimed that they have attack for all types of wickets. But it is proved that they have mediocre attack now. They are crying for spin wicket. But ajmal says it is fast bowler wicket . It means Pakistan is not having pace attack which can match srilanka . We all know they batting can match Zimbabwe or west indies now bowling attack too. Poor

Posted by rajithwijepura on (January 15, 2014, 4:29 GMT)

LOL why he blame for wicket. Why dont he praise SL young batsmans who neutralized his terror.

Posted by amumtaz on (January 15, 2014, 3:59 GMT)

Ajmal will probably be either rested or another spinner added to the mix for Sharjah Test. I see Hafeez getting dropped in favor of Azhar Ali who has the stamina and patience to bat through a Test innings.

Herath and Ajmal both have complemented the opposition batsmen who played them supremely well and have also complained that the track is a dead wicket and not supportive to anyone. So it's not just Ajmal, Herath is also struggling here.

The real contest has not been between the bowlers on these dead tracks, it were among the batsmen and Pakistan has come up short again in this department.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 3:49 GMT)

Pakistani's were clearly expecting Herath to be the only threat for them. Which is completely understandable looking at the reputation of the SL pace attack and their inexperience. And with Junaid having a really good record against the SL batsmen, they would have expected the SL to struggle against their attack regardless of Ajmal. The pitch had turn but it was too slow for the spinners. I think Pakistan's plan back fired when the Sri Lankan quicks came out and worked extremely hard to put their batsmen under pressure. In the end Herath produced some killer bowls too.(Like the one that got an extremely impressive Misbah). Ajmal is really good bowler and I am sure Pakistan will look to him in the next match to take wickets. We can surely expect a better pitch for spinners in the next match and most probably it will be a fight between the two spinners. This will be the real test for the Lankans. Can they hold on to the edge they have gained through hard work? Can Pakistan show fight?

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 3:46 GMT)

ajmal is a poor bawler, rangana herath can bowl well than ajmal. murali, warne, herath, graham swann can turn & pick the wicket in any pitch. but ajmal is a ballom only

Posted by Desihungama on (January 15, 2014, 3:06 GMT)

I am sorry but none of the bowling teams were effective in either of the Test matches. It was a match between Pakistan versus Sri Lankan batsmen. Do I need to say more?

Posted by cricketsubh on (January 15, 2014, 2:56 GMT)

I think they really needed some test level batsmen they can depend every time on misbaha and younis khan to save them every time i don't think both misbha and younis can not play for another 5 years i think they got atleast a year so they need to find young test batsmen quickly to replace them

Posted by AussieSakha on (January 15, 2014, 2:46 GMT)

Honestly, stop whinging Ajmal. You have got too much credit for a mediacore spinner. You had your full share already. From now on face the reality. This is not backyard cricket that you prepare a pitch for yourself. Get real !!!

Posted by ShanRoshan on (January 15, 2014, 2:45 GMT)

Turning track taking wickets is ease to any spiner in the world but thing is they call him to magician lol. Don,t disappoint in next match your skipper give you to turning track but do you remember there is good spiner in our team call RANGANA HERATH????

Posted by Crick_Expert on (January 15, 2014, 2:38 GMT)

Misbah should understand tuk, tuk, tuk.....out, is not the formula to win a Test match. After tuk, tuk, tuk for 4 hours you can't say now you are well set to score. You should allow all players to perform natural game and put huge score on board. Hafeez and Shahzad can't stay for hours, they should play fast. Single Single Four Single Single bye is the best formula to score and win Test match.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (January 15, 2014, 2:31 GMT)

SL new players are performing so good. PCB should also hire the right and talented test players for test series. In past legend IMRAN KHAN always picked natural talented young players who became super stars; the world known their name as; Wasim, Waqar, Shoiab, Inzmam, Afridi, Saeed Anwar, Aamir Sohail.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (January 15, 2014, 2:24 GMT)

PAK lost Test match due to weak Batting, Bad Team Selection and Capt tuktuk defensive approach. Misbah is not a smart Capt, who can't make smart decision. Misbah should open eyes and understand that weak players like Asad Safiq, Rahat Ali, Adnan Akmal, Khurum Manzoor can't be match winner.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (January 15, 2014, 2:19 GMT)

Ajmal, Murli and even Shane can't stop SL to win that match as such low score. PAK lost Test match due to weak Batting, Bad Team Selection and Capt tuktuk defensive approach. Misbah is not a smart Capt, who can't make smart decision. If Misbah was thinking Rahat Ali better than Rehman/Talha, Asad Safiq better than Shan/Azhar then he deserved such defeat.

Posted by somethingdifferent on (January 15, 2014, 2:07 GMT)

@JPNana, agreed one should give credit to SL batsmen for managing ajmal so well but one should not give undue credit to herath as well cause he also bowled very ordinarily, it was Pak batsmen who made his ordinary bowling look good.

Posted by Lion83 on (January 15, 2014, 2:04 GMT)

Sri Lankan batsmen play Ajmal really well even in the last series they played him really well. This two pitches flat pitches but if you are a world class bowler you has to get wickets even in flateest wickets.

Posted by Stat1977 on (January 15, 2014, 1:59 GMT)

Well, Hearth took 4 wickets in the first match and 5 wickets in the second test on the same tracks you complain about.Is the "pitch" the only thing matters for a good bawler? Isn't it the SL batting line up negated your threat and made you an average bawler? That's the fact that made one spinner claims wickets on some tracks while the other one is complaining about it.

Posted by Naeem578 on (January 15, 2014, 1:57 GMT)

Some of the realy disappointing comments from the lankan fans, they have gone a bit on the moon by winning a match but the series is still alive. Legends are legends whether it is Ajmal, Warne or Murli. Being a legend doesn't mean that you take a 5 wicket haul every game. Even warne or murli haven't done that either. Everyone goes from a lean period. I m absolutly sure Ajmal will bounce back in the next game as he is a current playing legend and legends always bounce back. Try respecting legends!

Posted by rezauk on (January 15, 2014, 1:56 GMT)

As usual we always have interesting comments about who's the best side in Asia. Whoever is playing best at the moment will only be a statistic in 10 yrs time. Looking at a reasonably upto date test stat we have

Pakistan Overall test record followed by india then Sri Lanka

M W L T D Win% 377 117 106 0 154 31.03 474 121 149 1 203 25.52 200 61 71 0 68 30.50

This seems to imply that Pakistan and SRI Lanka both have performed better bearing in mind that India has 20yrs more experience over Pakistan and 50 yrs over Sri Lanka. Bearing in mind the resources and structure India has compared to the other 2 then I think we can all agree that Pakistan/Sri Lanka have shown character over the years.

Posted by Buggsy on (January 15, 2014, 1:49 GMT)

Pretty sad and selfish. If you want to be a world class bowler, you have to do it on all sorts of pitches, not just those that suit you.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 1:49 GMT)

If so PAK team can play a spin bowling machine in the team and not Ajmal. A spinner is a spinner when he turns the ball and not the pich turns the ball! Ask Murali for help instead of asking a pitch that you want!

Posted by Siva_Bala75 on (January 15, 2014, 1:43 GMT)

Ajmal is a great bowler, no doubt- but he has to deliver soon. The point is Pakistan can not afford to be patient because, unfortunately age is not his side- so they can't say we are investing for the 'future'. Also, Pakistan has so much bowling talent and they do have some very good alternatives, unlike many other teams.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 1:39 GMT)

I think Ajmal is out of form. Probably he needs a break for a while. When it comes to pitches like this, you need two good bowlers who can bowl for longer spells. Pakistan only had four specialized bowlers and only the Ajmal managed to go for longer spells. I think they should bringin the likes of Rehman ( left arm spinner) in the place of a batsman. This will help Ajmal to have a better bowling partner at the other end to build the pressure.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 1:31 GMT)

All three areas are now poor in Pakistan side . They need more advice from seniors.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 1:02 GMT)

All modern great spinners seem to get upset (and express it too) when they get pitches, non-responsive to spin. Ashwin did in recent times. Murali & Kumble grumbled a bit (not too much, though ) a few years ago. Now Ajmal too. Understandable too. When they had been effective for so many years, and suddenly find no results, they get frustrated.

Fast bowlers do that too, when they don't get responsive pitches. Steyn struggled in the first IPL; and dismissed it awu, saying, something close to "Of, after all it is a paid vacation". In the past qite a few fast bowlers excused themselves out of touring India, expressing some reason or other.

To take the view further, all human beings want results for their hard wprk. Absolutely understandable.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2014, 0:04 GMT)

Look at the responses of people, highest wicket taker in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and you guys are disowning him ? Give me a break, if he said this, does not mean he has lost any touch. He just could not take wickets, not that he went wicket less for 300 runs. PLEASE DONT FLIP SO QUICKLY.

Posted by outforhatrick on (January 14, 2014, 23:57 GMT)

Right now the world cricket is seeing a lack of quality spinners, most of the spinners are struggling to win matches on their own, gone are the days of Murali, Shane, Anil, Saqlain..but ajmal has been good in the last few years and he might pick up few good ones in the 3rd Test match. Herath is also a good spin bowler and if the pitch has any assistance then Herath would be more than effective

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 23:28 GMT)

I think PAK was unlucky in last test as the toss played a major role, the ball was swinging and hoping around like they were playing in Edgbaston, then the wicket got eased off and SL bowlers were more accurate then PAK, as there is more pressure on Junaid and Ajmal as other bowlers are very new, I think PAK is bit confused on to what type of wickets they should give to SL, they are vary of Hareth and trying quick wickets but they don't have their front line fast bowlers available to them due to injuries so Misbah's worst record of winning the toss is hurting them. But overall, SL played better then PAK but they had some luck with them as well. Good luck in Sharjah.

Posted by Albert_cambell on (January 14, 2014, 23:02 GMT)

Every bowlers gets to his lowest point at some point of his career. But if he is a good bowler, then he will be able to bounce back with a good performance. Take a look at dale steyn. He struggled to take wickets of club batters like Kohli, Vijay Pujara, Rahane in the 1st test. But take a look at how he bounced back and produced a match winning spell for us in the 2nd test. I remember during our last tour to Australia, where our bowlers conceded 480 runs to Aussie batsman on day 1 in the Adelaide Venue. But one should not forget on how we bounced back and won the next test in Perth. Good bowlers will always have the tendency to bounce back when they are having their lowest point. I think Ajmal will make a comeback performance in the next test match, as he is a good bowler.

Posted by Dhutugemunu on (January 14, 2014, 22:50 GMT)

So called "Magician" needs spinning pitches to take wickets. How funny it is? Is Ajmal a real Magician? Does he really deserve that "Magician" title? He himself made it extremely doubtful with his statement. "The person who can't dance says that the dance floor is not good."

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 22:43 GMT)

I think that was a bit childish from ajmal because people who are jealous of him got an excuse and they have started comparing him with warne and murali but ajmal is a completely different bowler look at his stats better than murali and warne by completed games so please don't try to be stupid he is the best spinner around

Posted by Zetta on (January 14, 2014, 21:51 GMT)

I'm disappointed by Ajmal, Misbah and overall Pakistan as a cricket team. YES, I'm a Sri Lankan supporter - so what?!?!?1 'Batsmen friendly' they may be, but they are 'batsmen friendly' for the both teams. How come only Sri Lanka took advantage of this pitch and not the Pakistanis? Weren't they the best bowling attack? It certanly doesn't seem so! I'm not dissing anyone - I like Pakistan, and Ajmal is awesome. I just don't like the excuses they're making /frankly they don't need to pardon themselves/. Just play and let us enjoy the game.

Posted by asim229 on (January 14, 2014, 21:19 GMT)

Saeed Ajmal is a champion bowler and is performing consistently for a long time but he is degrading himself by following Misbah's advice of blaming the pitch.Anyone can have a couple of bad games and last two were ordinary games by Ajmal's standard.He shouldn't forget that Srilanka had Murali recently who was bowling a very good dosra towards the end of his career and Srilankans must have learned a lot about playing good offspin by watching Murali so its not a surprise that they managed to play Ajmal much better than other teams.Also it was Srilankas 3rd series in UAE against pak in the recent times so now they also have much more experience of playing Ajmal on the UAE tracks.

Posted by ProdigyA on (January 14, 2014, 21:03 GMT)

Funny that the over hyped pak bowlers are now asking for turners when young SL bowlers performed far better.

Posted by bddhika_harindat on (January 14, 2014, 21:03 GMT)

If Ajmal thinks he's a legend, then please DO NOT ask for spin friendly piches. The best ever spin bowler undoubtedly was Murali and he never cared about the surface he was given. He just bowled on any given surface and that's how a legend should be. Remeber Murali had great bowling performances in ENG, SA and AUS outside of subcontinent.

So Mr Ajmal, please do not degrade your selves. Just because Sharjah provides a spin friendly pitch doesn't mean you can take free wickets anymore, SL batsmen have well read your bowling.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 20:56 GMT)

I thought Pakistan had the best pace bowling attack-how did they get outshined by the Srilankans. Did not Herath take more than a couple and if he can why not Ajmal.

Posted by wapuser on (January 14, 2014, 20:47 GMT)

Our bowlers have not been stepping up and that has been the major problem for us. We always win because of our bowling not our batting. For final test our line up should have 5 bowlers : Gul , bhatti , ajmal ,rehman , junaid. Drop Hafeez and bring back Azhar

Posted by PFEL on (January 14, 2014, 20:43 GMT)

Please no It's bad enough that India are doctoring their home pitches but Pakistan are a quality side, they don't need to sink to those levels.

Posted by Mervo on (January 14, 2014, 20:42 GMT)

What rubbish, there was plenty of spin in that last pitch. Ajmal just needs to have better control of flight and not really on the ball spinning square to get wickets. He is an average to good bowler who needs some special wickets to make him look better. Balanced wickets are needed in Test cricket-something for the pace bowlers and something for the spinners.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 20:41 GMT)

you are right saeed bahi they should drop hafiz also cos is not test player he poor test record say all.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 19:57 GMT)

loss of first test was just because of batsman low total in first innings followed by one hour play by tuk tuk without scoring single run ,If tuk tuk & younus would have played fast in second innings & give defendable total of 250 plus situation would have been different .Bawlers were not having fighting total to defend what bawlers can do

Posted by bootlicker on (January 14, 2014, 19:54 GMT)

No complains please, you are neither Murali nor Warne.Wait for another wicketless episode in the next test match. The result will be 2-0 or 1-0, against SL

Posted by King_Ravanaa on (January 14, 2014, 19:34 GMT)

i newer see true legends like Murali and Warne blaming the pitch when they are low in their performance, actually there was hardly any situvations, that they were low in their performance. Everybody forgetting Herath, who is actually higher in ranking than Ajmal, he bowled beautifully wicket of Misbah was a magic ball. try to give respect and credit to SL batters who managed you well Mr. Ajmal, rather than blaming the pitch.

Posted by siabbasi on (January 14, 2014, 19:27 GMT)

Positive stand from Ajmal. True there can always that bad hair cut or bad work out day, I'm sure it's same in professional cricket, we all get our off days.

Workload on him I suspect is also a factor, plus the pressure of being the best attach bowler also puts you under some test.

Batting I think or as it has been shown is the weak link. Azhar Ali surely deserve his one down spot.

We had a lot to say about Sarfraz - but he showed skills with his bat and keeping.

Sri Lankans really have impressed in this series. Likes of Chandimal & Angelo who were under radar for no reason have proved their abilities.

Bowling is clicking - although they do not have that SPEEDSTAR but who needs that when you can bowl opposition out for cheap 165 on day 1?

Pak need 9 batsman in team I guess.

Posted by rsr89 on (January 14, 2014, 19:02 GMT)

Quite ironic when people say Indian spinner are only good at spin friendly wickets while Ajamal as well is the same?

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 18:44 GMT)

he lacks a little bit of luck like harbhajan or may be sehwag. these players are among the greats & can turn the table any day but in cricket u need luck too. Lets hope ajmal to get few wickets in the next game.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 18:09 GMT)

He is bit over-rated now. Ajmal is not great anymore. Pitch and its behaviour is not a big deal if you can ball in a good length. (Thats why Murali and Warne we call them legends)

Posted by am5786 on (January 14, 2014, 18:07 GMT)

Why Pakistan is not making spin wickets for their home series. Probably they are afraid of Herath, only Younis and Misbah can play spin better rest of the team can not even bat. I remember in mid 80s Pakistan produced pace wicket in Sialkot and Ravi Ratnayeke too 8 wickets in an innings.

Posted by chishtyirfan on (January 14, 2014, 18:01 GMT)

Dude, if the pitch assisting to SL bowlers, why not it's suitable for you after at all you have the best bowling attack in the world !! Work hard

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 17:46 GMT)

mr.ajmal about spining the ball that u shoud get advice from our MURLI.ALTHOUGH he is retired still he is capable of spining the ball on aglass . good luck for the next match.pl.inform your skipper what way the turf is prepared our boys r capable of giving a good display & WILLBE ABLE TO WIN THE MATCH ASWLL AS THE SERIES.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 17:42 GMT)

He is a champion bowler. My prediction is that he will take 9-10 wickets in third test and help Pakistan win. On a personal note i am disappointed with Pak's performance in last few tests. They should have beaten Africa in last test series, But poor batting let them down. When Imran Tahir gets a Five-for on 1st day wicket against a Sub-Continent team then you know there are lots of problem in batting. Hope they will bat well & Draw this series. #India

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 17:37 GMT)

@scroop ...i think u have no knowledge abt crkt ...every bwler can have a off match ....remember steyn's performance in frst test vs ind n how well he bounced back in secnd test ...legends always bounce back

may be u r a ashwin fan lol!!!!

Posted by Resultpredictor on (January 14, 2014, 17:37 GMT)

Pitch is batting friendly and there wont be any result. So SL won the series

Posted by sperle on (January 14, 2014, 17:25 GMT)

its not the arrow but the indian,copout,their spinners did well.

Posted by SL_Boy on (January 14, 2014, 17:22 GMT)

comm' on guys we need another cracer ... you guys are doing excellent ODI, and even both Test matchers were excellent... , we know though it is pakistan home grounds it is not true, they are missing there home crowed.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 17:09 GMT)

He is our best bowler we should back him, Pak lost the match b/c of poor batting, simply drop Asad Shafiq he is useless in the team

Posted by trip_trap on (January 14, 2014, 17:03 GMT)

Really? This is like a batsman, who's hit a rough patch, asking for a flat track, just so that he can bludgeon his way back into runs and boost his sagging confidence and ego. Ajmal's a class act...he's probably still got a yr or so to go. A case of foot in the mouth, perhaps?

Posted by Malik537 on (January 14, 2014, 16:58 GMT)

Why we are not playing with Zulqarnain Haider Guys his Average is 44..............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 16:50 GMT)

Great Spinners dont need any assistance from the pitch, Murali and Warne never cared about the pitches

Posted by yorkslanka on (January 14, 2014, 16:48 GMT)

Herath got wickets, so there was turn available but if there is more spin then that's good for us too...

Posted by LeoE on (January 14, 2014, 16:42 GMT)

Taimoor ...... Herath is a mediocre bowler getting your mediocre batsman out. But your Ajmal is supposed to be the Magician. So when he is not performing his tricks we Sri Lankans are amused. Why cant He get Herath out. ? Why cant He get Suranga Lakmal or Shaminda Eranga out ? They are our fast bowlers. They are not very correct in their techniques. Even if the wicket offers no help, your Majician should get tailenders out. Herath is doing that. That's why he is ranked above Ajmal. The ICC accepts that Herath is better than your Majician. Now does that answer your point ?

Posted by Rooohan on (January 14, 2014, 16:42 GMT)

The pitche is common for the both side, so why whine about no wickets from spin. Here is a better idea. How about a shooting ball gun to get wickets?

Posted by gujratwalla on (January 14, 2014, 16:42 GMT)

@mahil ranathunga...best fast bowlers in Asia? you must be joking! Lakmal,Eranga and Pradeep upstaged them...forget it.I was amazed at how listless our bowlers were against the Sri lankan batsmen.That man Vaas must have transformed them.Hw was a superb bowler.Wish our Waqar Younis,Wasim Akram could do the same for our youngsters.Every time i watched Lakmal i thought it was Vaas!

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 16:38 GMT)

whatever was the reason for pakistan's loss againt sri lanka,one thing is very clear,that Ajmal is not the bowler he used to be.its crystal clear that teams around the world can work him out now.we know how well south africans played him in last series.....and now srilankan batsman are not bothered at all.he and some of his emotional fans are in a state of denial.......he is no more a mystrey.he is still not bad in one day/t20 matches as in pressure sitiuation some batsman still strugle to pick his DOOSRA,but in test matches he is going to be more uselss in coming days

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 16:34 GMT)

actually we have been so much used to him getting wickets thats why we are thinking like that.

he bowled well and SL played him better. you cant say he bowled bad as you can see his economy . it was way better than others. in past, he was getting enough support from other end and that support was helping him to get more wickets.

wickets were indeed not made for spin bowling. even on 5 th day or you can take Heraths words for 4th day if you think it was not spinning on 5 th because it was ajmal. he also said it that there was hardly any spin.

anyway, ajmals performance in all forms have dropped a but in past few months. he is economical, which shows he is bowling ok but not that much dangerous. bad patch/ pitches/ not good support from other end/ workload/ what ever it is, he has to sort it out.

Posted by sandeep33 on (January 14, 2014, 16:32 GMT)

ha ha pak cant even win a test against low ranked lanka,,whatever u tel india keep winning on their homland..and no one stoppd u frm making a pitch suiting u,,

Posted by shahnbej on (January 14, 2014, 16:26 GMT)

He should be rested for next match because he is already over exposed. Better include ABDUL RAHMAN for next test. If zulfiqar was in team I would rather him but .

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 16:25 GMT)

i think lost to SL was more because of batting. top3 and asad means 4 were just passengers. you cant win games like that.

Regarding spin; for last 2-3 years pakistans strength is spin bowling. even in odis we normally go with 3 spinners. and there was a time when in a t20 game we played just 1 fast bowler. so making spinless wickets is not the best options.

he is right there to ask for spinning wickets. all teams and players asks for it when they are playing at home. but when pak players say then people come out with funny comments.

stats can be checekd , what happened in last matches on dubai surface. how many wickets spinners got in last game and this.

also Rangana, said in his press talk that he is also not getting any help from surface . and that was after 4 th days play so pointing it on only ajmal by some people here is just crazy. how many overs Rangana has bowled and got wickets even bowling on 4 th day ?

Posted by LegSpinBowlr on (January 14, 2014, 16:13 GMT)

So if it didnt spin wat hapnd to pak pace bowlers ? Is Ajmal the only person in pak who can take wickets ? and he is complaining of pitch not turning ! If ajmal was to tour outside subcontinent will he complain the same ? get over dude try improving ur skills than depending on pitches for assistance

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 16:12 GMT)

It's so ironic that Pakistan need spin wickets, when they seem to have best fast bowlers in south asia. It's so surprising that pakistani blame lack of spin for the defeat when they had fast bowlers just like sri lankans. Pak fan's help me out here.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 16:05 GMT)

@SCROP: Its not actually "THEESARA" or Thisara Perera, its Teesra...:)

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 16:02 GMT)

Nobody bats an eye that, herath, who is ranked higher than Ajmal in ICC Test Rankings, is also not taking wickets, gets out tailender to make sure he's not wicketless. People seem to just talk about Magician, after his one rare failure -_-

Posted by Sports4Youth on (January 14, 2014, 15:53 GMT)

I am not sure if this is a good idea. Earlier when the pitches were flat & non-responsive the mediocre Pakistani batsmen have failed and struggled to even get into double figures. Now if they produce more turn, even Misbah and Younis will struggle. With Herath & Co. in high spirtis, Pakistani club level batsmen will be in danger of getting bowled out for their lowest totals.

Posted by PrasPunter on (January 14, 2014, 15:53 GMT)

Well - what's with the subcontinent teams crying for tailor-made pitches ? No reason why they get flogged when they are away.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 15:49 GMT)

@Scrop LOL, whenever he faces one bad match, people say his variations are no more effective & his mystery has been picked,, and he bounces back every time. Lets wait & watch, he is a legend :)

Posted by reason-galore on (January 14, 2014, 15:31 GMT)

@scrop... the doosra cannot be sorted out... there is no way to detect it other than good technique... coupled with lifeless wicket and good technique(by playing murlitharan ofcourse) the sri lankans played him well enough... he will bounce backs against anyother nation as none of them ever had a doosra bowling nation... india had but indians require flat wickets to be successful even against club level bowling...

Posted by maria_01 on (January 14, 2014, 15:25 GMT)

ajmal we want ur spin magic on its peak in sharjah, goodluck to you.........

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 15:25 GMT)

"a good bowler is always a good bowler, regardless of any sort pitch is" ha ha ha Indeed

Posted by heartbreakerz on (January 14, 2014, 15:23 GMT)

he is a champion...i am sure he will bounce back pretty soon

Posted by wapuser on (January 14, 2014, 15:21 GMT)

And then Pakistan loses the toss and have to bat last on a minefield with Herath bowling

Posted by   on (January 14, 2014, 15:19 GMT)

Ajmal bowled well despite not getting wickets. He maintained pressure from one end but no support from other bowlers. He needed Rehman from the other end but I don't understand the philosophy of the team management by playing only one spinner. The batting was awful, so no chance for Ajmal or other bowlers to get wickets. The fielding was even worse; the team need changes. from top to bottom. I don't know why Hafeez was included, why Azher Ali and Shan Masood were dropped. They need to drop Manzoor, Hafeez and Asad Shafiq. Rehman, Azhar Ali and Shan Masood deserve to be in the team.

Posted by kila995 on (January 14, 2014, 15:16 GMT)

Superb positive behavior shown by this legend :) keep it up Ajmal ...Best of luck for both teams :) may god be with y'll

Posted by Scrop on (January 14, 2014, 15:11 GMT)

You have been sorted out Ajmal!!

Try your Theesara. Lol!!

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Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Sharjah - Jan 16-20, 2014
Pakistan won by 5 wickets
Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Dubai (DSC) - Jan 8-12, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 9 wickets
Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Abu Dhabi - Dec 31, 2013 - Jan 4, 2014
Match drawn
Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Abu Dhabi - Dec 27, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 2 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)
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