ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal not only troubled England batsmen in last week’s first test — the offspinner also caused problems for his own wicketkeeper, Adnan Akmal.
England struggled against Ajmal’s variety of deliveries, particularly one that spins away from the righthanders and is called a ‘doosra’ in Urdu.
“It’s a bit different and difficult,” Akmal said on Monday about Ajmal’s ‘doosra’. “Every time I keep wickets I watch his hand.”
Ajmal does not give any indication to his wicketkeeper before bowling away from a righthander, something which Akmal fully accepts because “if you set signals then it’s no use being a keeper.”
Pakistan’s fielding coach Ijaz Ahmed has been working with his wicketkeeper on how to read Ajmal’s deliveries.
“That came as a great benefit to me and helped me in the match while ‘keeping on Ajmal,” Akmal said.
Ajmal has also promised to unveil a new mystery delivery, called a ‘teesra’, during the series against England. However, Akmal said so far the offspinner had not tried it.
“I never felt any difference (in the first test), his deliveries were the ones on which I have been ‘keeping in the last 10-12 matches,” Akmal said.
Akmal took over from his elder brother Kamran in November, 2010 when he made his test debut against South Africa — before being ignored for last year’s World Cup and the subsequent test series against the West Indies.
However, selectors recalled him for the one-off test against Zimbabwe in September and since then he has featured regularly in the series against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Last week, Akmal scored a belligerent half century in the second innings as Pakistan defeated England by 10 wickets to take 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
His knock of career-best 61 helped Pakistan take a substantial first innings lead of 146 before England was bundled out for just 160 for an overall lead of just 14 runs.
“I don’t know what happened to them (England batsmen) but I think we bowled very well,” Akmal said. “They are better batsmen than us.”