Muralitharan targets 'difficult customer' Ajmal

Australia

New coaching consultant Muttiah Muralitharan is determined to help Australia successfully combat in-form Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal during the tour of the United Arab Emirates.

New coaching consultant Muttiah Muralitharan is determined to help Australia successfully combat in-form Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal during the tour of the United Arab Emirates.

Muralitharan, who had been mentoring Test spinner Nathan Lyon and emerging slow bowlers James Muirhead, Will Bosisto, Clive Rose and Matthew Short as part of the National Cricket Centre Spin Program, was appointed to the position on Wednesday.

"Ajmal is a difficult customer for all the best batsmen in the world, but he bowls a little bit similar to me so perhaps if I can bowl to the Australian batsman it might help a little bit and give them some tips," said Muralitharan.

"I'm very much excited. I know the Australian team is a very good side, but hopefully I can have a little bit of input to help them do well in the series against Pakistan.

"Those conditions might help spinners and I know a few tricks that might help them on what to do as I have played a lot of matches in those conditions in the UAE and hopefully I can help them a little bit."

The veteran Muralitharan took a record-breaking 800 wickets in 133 Tests between August 1992 and July 2010. 80 of these, including five five-wicket hauls, were achieved against Pakistan. He has since enjoyed stints in the two premier domestic Twenty20 tournaments – the Indian Premier League and Big Bash League.

"Lyon has been bowling brilliantly but hopefully I can help him a little bit on how to bowl in these sub-continent conditions, on how to use the conditions and how to set up the field. I have bowled to most of the Pakistani batsman in the past so hopefully I can help a bit," he added.

Pakistan and the Australians will meet for a one-off Twenty20 International three ODIs and two Tests between 3 October and 1 November. The Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah Cricket Stadium will host the six fixtures.

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