‘Easier to face Harbhajan than Ajmal’

Published: June 7, 2011
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Sammy feels the series against Pakistan gave them good practice against spin. PHOTO: AFP

Sammy feels the series against Pakistan gave them good practice against spin. PHOTO: AFP

PORT OF SPAIN: 

Coming off a defeat in the one-off Twenty20, West Indies captain Darren Sammy hopes for a better show in the One-Day International (ODI) series against India, basing his belief on the experience gained by his batsmen’s performance against Pakistan’s spinners.

Sammy reckoned it would be easier to deal with off-spinner Harbhajan Singh because he does not have the guile of Saeed Ajmal. The West Indies captain felt that Singh, in comparison to Ajmal, lacks variation and can become predictable as a spinner. Ajmal, on the other hand, is known to mix up his deliveries with frequent doosras and arm-balls which tested his batsmen throughout Pakistan’s tour.

Ajmal is also effective as he flights the ball more regularly to draw batsmen into shots which could result in stumpings and lofted shots.

“We should play Harbhajan better than we did against Pakistan,” said Sammy. “Ajmal was very difficult to pick because of his doosra. Harbhajan, in contrast, is more orthodox and our batsmen should do well against him.”

Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez grabbed 12 of the 26 wickets in the five-ODI series and India will also depend on the two off-spinners in Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin. Sammy also claims to have learnt from his defeat in the Twenty20, saying though his batsmen failed to score freely, they showed they could keep their wickets.

“Each individual will have a game plan and will focus to rotate the strike. You will have to sweep, use your feet, play with soft hands, all those things come into play.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2011.

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