Sangakkara: Ajmal easy compared to Murali

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Sri Lanka veteran Kumar Sangakkara, who scored a double century in Galle against Pakistan on Saturday, felt facing Saeed Ajmal was made easier by his years of keeping for Muttiah Muralitharan.

Sri Lanka veteran Kumar Sangakkara, who scored a double century in Galle against Pakistan on Saturday, felt facing Saeed Ajmal was made easier by his years of keeping for Muttiah Muralitharan.

The wicketkeeper-batsman averages over 150 against Ajmal, the world's premier spinner right now, and has put that down to standing up to Murali for all those years, allowing him to read the ball out of the hand.

Sangakkara said: "I think it's mainly because I've kept a lot to Murali, so I've had to learn to read deliveries from the hand. I don't say that I read Ajmal all the time, but most of the time I do read his doosra, so that makes it slightly easier to play.

"Because I'm a leftie I don't have to worry about being hit on the pads when he beats my bat. If he does beat my bat, it's usually straight to the wicketkeeper.

"As a right-hander, he can beat you on both sides of the bat, so that makes it a bit hard. It's a combination of both factors."

Sangakkara has a very impressive record against Pakistan, but he couldn't explain why, opining that his leftie batting maybe counter-acted their spinners, as he'd said of Ajmal.

He added: "My first double-hundred was against them in Lahore. Since then I've just had a knack of scoring against them. They've got a very good attack, but it's maybe because I'm a left-hander.

"Maybe their spinners find it a bit difficult to bowl to me – I don't know. I think I've had a bit of good fortune as well along the way. They sometimes drop a few catches along the way, which helps me.

"Sometimes as a batsman you feel in sync and in rhythm with a certain attack, and I think the Pakistanis have been like that for me."

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