Dismal Pakistan should have done better in second Test: Ajmal

Former off-spinner believes youngsters should take advice from ex-players to improve their game

Dismal Pakistan should have done better in second Test: Ajmal Photo: AFP

Legendary off-spinner Saeed Ajmal was not at all happy with what he saw on show in the second Test between Pakistan and England at Headingley and has expressed his dissatisfaction at the way the visitors collapsed.

The Men in Green suffered a humiliating innings and 55-run defeat against the Three Lions in the second Test — which leveled the series 1-1 — and Ajmal, who represented Pakistan in 35 Tests where he claimed 178 wickets, said that the players know exactly where they went wrong and that the performance was not at all satisfactory.

“They know where they did badly and where they did well,” said Ajmal. “But overall their performance was not satisfactory and they could have done better.”

Pakistan went into the series with a relatively young squad, and Ajmal believes the players should ask ex-cricketers for advice to excel in the future.

“Pakistan have a huge number of ex-players and the current players should follow them and learn from them,” he said. “They have to set their priorities that who they want to follow and what they want to learn from them. All ex-players are open to give the required tips and training to the players but all depends on what they want to learn from whom and what are their priorities.”

Following the dismal show in Leeds, captain Sarfraz Ahmed and coach Mickey Arthur criticised the team’s batting performance in the second innings, however, Ajmal believes it was the first innings which let the visitors down.

“They only talked about the second innings that if they had a less lead then they would have done better,” he said. “But in all fairness they should’ve talked about the first innings where Pakistan did extremely poor and let themselves down.”

Talking about the performance of young leg-spinner Shadab Khan, Ajmal said that a top-class spinner does not focus on what other players are doing; instead they focus on the job at hand.

“The coach said that Shadab was bowling well until Ali dropped the catch off his delivery, but I think as a spinner we have to stay focused and keep on trying to hit the weak areas of the batsman even if we are conceding boundaries and catches are being dropped,” he said. “When a catch is dropped off your ball, it does demotivate you but that is the time when you show that you are an international bowler by overcoming that period and doing everything you can to trouble the batsman. You can’t let them take advantage of that.”

Salahuddin was pleasure to watch: Yousuf

Former captain Muhammad Yousuf praised debutant middle-order batsman Usman Salahuddin for his fighting 33 in the second innings.

Yousuf, who represented Pakistan in 90 Tests, passed those remarks about Salahuddin while talking to The Express Tribune.

“Usman Sallauddin played well, he was seen standing firm on the crease and playing shots,” said Yousuf. “He managed the different pitched balls brilliantly and that was something great to watch. He was coming on to the ball and looked really composed. He was more defensive due to the position of the team and the conditions, but he was much better than the ones who were being bowled on straighter deliveries.”