ICC Champions Trophy: ‘Gayle might be in form,but I’m the number one bowler’

Published: May 6, 2013

Ajmal has a habit of targeting the opposition’s top batsmen before the start of a series. PHOTO: AFP

ABBOTABAD: 

West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has single-handedly destroyed bowling attacks and torn apart the opposition with his presence at the crease.

His form at the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) has been exceptional but Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal is confident of taking him on as the two teams play their opening match at the ICC Champions Trophy on June 7.

Ajmal, speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing training camp at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium (ACS), is specifically targeting Gayle, who has rocked the IPL stage as he hit a century in just 30 deliveries during the course of his 66-ball 175 against Pune.

“Gayle is in phenomenal form and hitting well,” said Ajmal. “But I’m also the world’s number one bowler by the grace of God. I am putting in a lot of hard work and I’m confident of doing well against him. I am assessing the strength and weaknesses of all the top batsmen with the help videos, and training accordingly.”

With the batsmen getting an advantage of fielding restrictions as per the new rules in One-Day International (ODI) cricket, Ajmal is not worried about bowling the explosive batsman.

The spinner added that a ‘good bowler’ would be able to play a vital role in the mega event.

“In England conditions where pitches are batter-friendly, any spinner who bowls well will get good results.”

Ajmal, who had an ordinary run in the five-match ODI series against South Africa, said he was looking forward to improving his show.

“Good and bad days are part of a cricketer’s career. Many feel I didn’t do well in South Africa but I think otherwise. However, I am training hard to play a key role for my team.”

The spinner, who suffered from pain in the lower abdomen, said he has recovered from the injury.

“I have passed my fitness test and also reduced 5kg on the doctors’ advice. I continued the workout after the South Africa tour and I feel much better now.”

Ajmal added that the players were fully focused as they target the Champions Trophy title.

 “We are training hard and it was a good decision by the board to hold the camp in Abbottabad. We are getting similar conditions those of England. This will be the last edition of the Champions Trophy and the team is determined to return with the title.”

Batsmen test muscles, tail-enders bat

On the fourth day of the training camp, the team management divided the players in two groups – batsmen and bowlers.

All the top-order batsmen underwent physical training at the Army’s PT School under a Pakistan Cricket Board trainer.

However, the bowlers worked on improving their batting as team management looks to make efforts to get contributions from tail-enders.

Four separate tracks were used to prepare them where they faced aspiring bowlers to sharpen their batting skills.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2013.

Reader Comments (11)

  • Saad Siddiqui
    May 6, 2013 - 11:38PM

    Way to go Ajmal… Winter is coming !

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  • Mohammad
    May 7, 2013 - 1:21AM

    There are no IPL $$$ involved in Champions’ Trophy hence not a show from Gayle.

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  • sree
    May 7, 2013 - 9:44AM

    by the way why ajmal always wear full sleeves while bowling ? Still I doubt his bowling action

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  • BILAL
    May 7, 2013 - 11:49AM

    @sree:

    GET A LIFE DUDE, Shoaib malik wears it. Gibbs used to wear it too, Many batsman and bowlers wear full sleeve.

    No Cry indian fellows.

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  • Vishnu Dutta
    May 7, 2013 - 11:54AM

    And you ask why world makes fun of you. Like rest of the team you have opened your big mouth before the game. Let your bowling do the talking for you.

    Last time Gul said the same thing for Sehwag and after the WC semi Gul is still dressing his wounds.

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  • JaySabir
    May 7, 2013 - 1:14PM

    if ajmal’s full sleeves are the sign of doubt for you then how about tea break ashwin takes in between his bowling action? lol

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  • Bruce W
    May 7, 2013 - 3:18PM

    @Vishnu Dutta:
    funny, i remember Virat Kohli doing the same to junaid khan before the pak india series. Wasnt so funny when junaid got kohli three times on the trott and pakistan whupped india away

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  • sree
    May 7, 2013 - 5:50PM

    @BILAL: and Indians never cry at you… it was your board chairman who begged for a cricket series with india few months back.

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  • Sameer
    May 7, 2013 - 6:24PM

    @sree
    Because our chairman wanted to come on your home soil to prove that you are only good at IPL level. Can you please remind me who won that series? :)

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  • Vishnu Dutta
    May 7, 2013 - 8:00PM

    @Bruce W:
    You just won one game more than us, that is barely a whooping. Whooping is perfect 7-0 record in WC.

    BTW Virat may be young and aggressive but he never said what you think he said. Its just your media that made it up.

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  • Bruce W
    May 7, 2013 - 11:24PM

    @Vishnu Dutta:
    You can’t look at the scorecards alone, it was the cricket being played. Although India have always been dangerous at home there is no denying they got thoroughly outplayed in every ODI. They were essentially gifted the 3rd game after some truly idiotic shots from our batsmen who made a meal in chasing a sub par total.

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