Pakistan are not worried about Saeed Ajmal’s reporting for a suspect bowling action and are confident that the ace off-spinner will be cleared, said captain Misbahul Haq.
Match officials reported Ajmal to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for a suspect bowling action following the first Test defeat by Sri Lanka, but is permitted to bowl until his bowling is scrutinised further.
The 36-year-old, who has taken 174 wickets in 34 Tests at an average of 27.79, was also reported for the same offence in 2009 but was later cleared by the ICC.
“As far as the main bowler Ajmal is concerned, it has been done before and that’s not a worry for us,” Misbah told reporters on the eve of the second Test in Colombo. “He’s been through this process before and I hope he will be fine.
“We will just concentrate on our game and look forward to playing good cricket and try to win this Test.”
Meanwhile, Misbah blamed the lack of consistency from his side for their seven-wicket loss at Galle.
“We played well in patches. On and off we performed well and we lacked consistency and could not win every session,” said the 40-year-old.
“We want to make sure the same doesn’t happen with our batting in this Test and back ourselves with good bowling and fielding. We have to improve in all departments.”
The Pakistan bowlers struggled to bowl the hosts out in Galle, but the captain backed his bowlers to come good.
“We should not always blame our bowlers in good batting conditions, sometimes you play into the hands of the batsmen.”
Misbah was also aware that getting the wicket of Mahela Jayawardene, who will play his final Test, would be crucial for his side.
“Everybody knows that he is a world-class player and in this particular ground he has scored so many runs and so many centuries. As a team we want to get him early,” added Misbah.
Sri Lanka eye winning farewell for Jayawardene
Sri Lanka are determined to send former captain Jayawardene into retirement with a victory in the second Test.
Captain Angelo Mathews said emotions were running high in the home team’s dressing room before the match at Jayawardene’s home ground at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo.
“It is an emotional moment for everyone,” said Mathews. “We want to win it for him. He has been the pillar of strength for us for so many years. We will miss him a lot.
“The best thing we can do is try and win the game and give him the best farewell that we could possibly give him.”
Jayawardene goes into his final Test after making 59 in the first innings at Galle and a quickfire 26 in the unfamiliar role of an opener during the chase.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2014.
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