‘I have overcome my weaknesses’

Ajmal upbeat ahead of Zimbabwe tour, credits county stint for improvement.

Umar Farooq August 18, 2011

LAHORE: Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal said that he has worked hard to overcome his weaknesses and has kept himself busy studying opponents’ techniques, in a bid to outfox them.

Speaking at the training camp for the Zimbabwe tour, Ajmal admitted that batsmen had now started reading his doosra. However, Ajmal, who is the Test squad’s leading wicket-taker, added that he has also been working on his game and is trying to come up with other deliveries to compensate for that.

The off-spinner has been struggling recently in the death overs in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) particularly against left-handers but he claimed that he had overcome his problems.

“That’s a thing of the past and I have now overcome my weaknesses,” he said. “I change my game plan according to the situation now and I won’t struggle. Playing county cricket has been a great learning experience for me and I hope to maintain the flow in Zimbabwe.”

Ajmal, who has come back after a stint with Worcestershire, said that he would like to maintain the good form that he had displayed at the county and during Pakistan’s tour of West Indies, where he was the leading bowler for the national team. With Shahid Afridi no longer part of the team and Abdur Rehman being rested, Ajmal said that he was relishing the challenge of being the senior pro in the side.

“I believe that as a senior member of the team it’s my responsibility to encourage the youngsters. There is no pressure on me now in the absence of Afridi and Rehman. I need to take the youngsters along and take responsibility as a senior member of the team.”

Ahmed appointed assistant coach

Meanwhile, former batsman Ijaz Ahmed has been appointed the national team’s assistant coach by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). A PCB statement said that Ahmed had been appointed ‘on the request of the team management’ and will travel with the side to Zimbabwe.

Ahmed was part of Waqar Younis’ coaching team during the Asia Cup and the tour of England last year. Pakistan are due to leave for Zimbabwe for a one-off Test match, two Twenty20s and five ODIs.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2011.

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