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Rest seniors, play youngsters against Zimbabwe: Saeed Ajmal

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  • Post category:Cricket / Sports
  • Post last modified:23/09/2020
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ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal believes the team management should rest senior players and give exposure to the young cricketers during the upcoming home series against Zimbabwe.

“At least 50 per cent of youngsters should be tried against Zimbabwe as their team isn’t that strong. A young spinner can be tried in place of Imad Wasim so that we have a pool of spinners for future. However, we cannot afford to lose a match as well, so some seniors should be there in ODIs as they can guide the youngsters,” quoted him as saying.

Ajmal was also not in favour of playing young and inexperienced pacers, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah, together in a Test match for Pakistan.

“Shaheen and Naseem are young and are still trying to prove their mettle. You need to go through the tough phase in domestic cricket to be able to perform in Test cricket. Shaheen and Naseem have hardly played a single season of domestic,” said Ajmal.

“In limited-overs cricket, you can play young cricketers, but you need experienced players to win you Test matches. You can have one young bowler rather than having a completely inexperienced attack. England team also played only one young pacer along with their experienced bowlers,” he said.

He also opened up about what went wrong for leg-spinner Yasir Shah in the three-match Test series against England.

“Yasir was bowling short of length in the Test series against England. His economy was on the higher side, which is why he was bowling under pressure to cover for it. He should have given the ball more loop and varied his pace. If a leg-spinner doesn’t bowl with loop then he gets hit for boundaries,” he said.

Ajmal believes left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar would be a better investment in Test cricket for Pakistan.

“I don’t consider Shadab Khan suitable for Test cricket as a bowler. As far as T20 is concerned, he got hit for sixes in T20 as well. Economy is more important than wickets in T20 cricket so you need to focus more on bowling dot balls. If you give chances to batsmen in T20, then you will get hit for boundaries,” he said.

“In my opinion, Zafar Gohar is the best choice as a future spinner in Test cricket. He is a finger spinner and his ball spins as well. If he is given confidence, then Pakistan can get a very bright spinning prospect in future,” he said.

Ajmal also made himself available for a coaching assignment with the national side. “I don’t want to coach a domestic team right now since you have to push yourself and deal with a lot of hassle. If PCB wants to hire me for any position with the national team or for a short camp, then I am available,” he said.

Syed Aun

Syed Aun studied Media before starting to contribute to writing mostly on sports and local (Pakistani) politics.