Ajmal asks for time to build confidence


Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal's return to international cricket has not gone as smoothly as he, and his country, would have liked, but he has asked for patience as he adjusts to his new action.

Ajmal was banned for chucking in September last year and only recently returned to action, having made a number of changes to his action to correct his illegal elbow flex. His efforts in the ODI series against Bangladesh were poor, and he was dropped for the first Test.

Ajmal told Cricinfo: "For me it's been a tough last eight months and I knew it will be tough moving forward also. I'd said prior to coming here that I need time and I am disappointed that I am not able to fulfil the expectations of the nation.

"But I spoke to the captain and the coach and they have a plan for me. I need time to regain my confidence. It doesn't come in overnight.

"I don't want to play cricket on the basis of reputation. I want to play with my head held high and with the same confidence level I had in the past.

"Things are not going well presently, but you will see in coming days that I have improved. If I am benched, that is the plan and the players playing in place of me are the best and performing well.

"It's true that you can go from bad to good and it's also true that you can go from good to bad. I don't think I have changed my action significantly, only minor tweaks. I know my doosra is not being effective which is reflecting in my performance.

"But I am doing my best to get myself back on track as soon as possible. I am bowling with different angles from top and from side and things are improving and I am optimistic that I will be same Ajmal as I was."

While Ajmal was sidelined, spinners like Yasir Shah and Zulfiqur Babar stepped into the void and did really well, and Ajmal did not begrudge them their places ahead of him in the first Test.

He added: "I think it's their right to play ahead of me. They have done great without me and spare a thought about Khulna Test where pitch was slow enough to kill the spin, otherwise they are good and have proved their ability."