Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2009 August 15, 2009

Murali was interested in my doosra - Ajmal

Cricinfo staff

Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal has said he exchanged tips with Muttiah Muralitharan on bowling the doosra during the tour of Sri Lanka. Murali, Test cricket's highest wicket-taker and one the leading practitioners of the doosra, was interested in how Ajmal bowled the same delivery.

"Yes we had a few chats, it was interesting and useful to talk to a great bowler like Murali," Ajmal told Pakpassion.net. "I asked him about some of his newer deliveries and his methods behind those deliveries.

"We talked about the importance of varying the flight and the pace of deliveries and he was particularly interested in my doosra, wanted to see how I bowled it and my grip when I bowled that delivery".

Ajmal had earlier troubled the Australians during the one-day series in the UAE in April. He was Pakistan's leading wicket-taker in his debut Test series in Sri Lanka with 14 wickets. He took five wickets in the ODIs and 3 for 18 in the one-off Twenty20, the best figures in the match from either team.

"There was a lot of extra pressure on me as it was my debut Test series," Ajmal said. "I took 14 wickets at 30.07 which isn't too bad against a team that plays spin very well and we were playing in conditions that they were familiar with."

Ajmal bowled 43 overs in the second innings of the third Test at the SSC but managed to take just one wicket. After squandering big opportunities in the first two Tests, Pakistan had a shot at a consolation win in the third but the Sri Lankans batted out the final day and lost only four wickets in their improbable chase of 492.

"The third Test was very frustrating as the heavy roller used on the last day just seemed to flatten the pitch and it became lifeless," Ajmal said. "There was no spin, no pace and no extra bounce, unlike the first innings when it was very lively and assisted Danish [Kaneria] and I".

Ajmal said he would be cooling his heals for a bit before his next assignment. "I'm looking forward to a nice two-week rest and some time with my family before the training camps and trial matches start for the Champions Trophy."