Ajmal hopes for 'home' pitch in Sharjah Test

Saeed Ajmal has backed his captain's view that Pakistan is being undermined in the Test series by unresponsive pitches.

    Unlike their recent trips to the UAE, Pakistan have had little to celebrate this time round [AFP]
    Unlike their recent trips to the UAE, Pakistan have had little to celebrate this time round [AFP]

    Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has backed captain Misbah-ul-Haq's view that Pakistan is being undermined in the Test series with Sri Lanka by unresponsive pitches in the UAE.

    Misbah was surprised and disillusioned when the pitch in Dubai did not offer turn and Pakistan lost the second Test on Sunday to fall behind 1-0 in the three-match series.

    "I've been playing in Dubai for the last six years, but haven't got such a bad response (from the wicket) here,'' Ajmal said.

    "I did a lot of hard work, but couldn't get good result as the wicket was good for fast-bowlers and was not supporting the spinners.''

    'Home' pitch

    The third and final Test starts on Thursday in Sharjah, and Pakistan is counting on its `home' pitch being prepared to its strengths, in this case spin.

    Pakistan is likely to draft in left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman at the expense of a fast-bowler in hope of squaring the series.

    Ajmal, who took 34 wickets in the previous four Tests in Dubai, nabbed only three last week and has only five in the series after bowling 114 overs in four innings.

    He went wicketless off 49 overs in Sri Lanka's second innings of the drawn first Test in Abu Dhabi.

    "The ball wasn't spinning (in Dubai) and they were cautious while playing against me. If I had got some spin the result could've been different. The pitch was very slow ... even on day five the ball didn't spin.''

    Sri Lanka has so far neutralized the threat of Ajmal with captain Angelo Mathews (157 not out) and Mahela Jayawardene (129) scoring centuries in the two Tests.

    Young opener Kaushal Silva has impressed with his technique by scoring three successive half centuries while wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene shared a match-saving century stand with Mathews at Abu Dhabi.

    SOURCE: AP


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