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Saqlain Mushtaq, the former Pakistan offspinner, has offered to coach Australia's spinners on bowling the doosra, the away-spinning delivery which he is credited with inventing. Saqlain's offer comes in the wake of Australia's struggle to pick the delivery during the ongoing ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE.
"If there is any opportunity for me to work in Australia, I would love to take that opportunity," Saqlain told the Sydney Morning Herald.. "I can teach them [the doosra] if they want my services."
Nathan Hauritz, Australia's frontline offspinner, has been working on the ball for two years in the nets. His contemporaries, Dan Cullen and Jason Krejza have also been practicing but are yet to perfect the delivery. In the UAE, Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal kept the Australian batsmen in check by repeatedly bowling the delivery. However, the doosra came under scrutiny during the second ODI and he was subsequently reported for a suspect action.
The ICC rules allow a maximum limit of 15 degrees of flexion, which means no bowler can extend their elbow beyond that level, but Saqlain felt it was possible to bowl the doosra within the laws. Saqlain incidentally has a level-two coaching certificate.
"When you plant the front foot, use your shoulder and lock the wrist you can do it without bending your arm," he said. "But if there is a problem in the front foot, in the wrist or in the balance, then you can't do it."
After Ajmal and South African offspinner Johan Botha were reported for the same offence in the space of two weeks, former players Ramiz Raja and Geoff Boycott have asked the ICC to legalise the delivery.