Misbah backs Ajmal to be cleared

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iol spt aug13 Ajmal AP Pakistan are not worried about Saeed Ajmal's reporting for a suspect bowling action and are confident that the ace off-spinner will be cleared. Photo by:Hassan Ammar/AP

Colombo - Pakistan are not worried about Saeed Ajmal's reporting for a suspect bowling action and are confident that the ace off-spinner will be cleared, captain Misbah-ul-Haq said.

Match officials reported Ajmal to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for a suspect bowling action following the first Test defeat by Sri Lanka in Galle but is permitted to bowl until his bowling is scrutinized further.

The 36-year-old, who has taken 174 wickets in 34 Tests at an average of 27.79, was also reported for the same offence in 2009 but was later cleared by the ICC.

“As far as the main bowler Saeed Ajmal is concerned it has been done before and that's not a worry for us,” Misbah told reporters on the eve of the second test in Colombo.

“He's been through this process before and I hope he will be fine. We will just concentrate on our game and look forward to playing good cricket and try to win this Test.”

Misbah blamed the lack of consistency from his side for their seven-wicket loss at Galle.

“We played well in patches. On and off we performed well and we lacked consistency and could not win every session,” the 40-year-old said.

“We want to make sure in this Test it doesn't happen with our batting and back ourselves with good bowling and fielding. We have to improve in all departments.”

The Pakistan bowlers struggled to bowl the hosts out in Galle but the captain backed his bowlers to come good.

“Their batsmen know these conditions very well. Players like Kumar Sangakkara, who is world class and in good form, when he gets set it will be very difficult for any team to handle their bowlers,” said Misbah.

“These are the reasons why it's not easy to get these batsmen out in good batting conditions.

“We should not always blame our bowlers in good batting conditions, sometimes you play into the hands of the batsmen.”

Sangakkara scored his tenth double hundred in Sri Lanka's first innings to move second to Don Bradman in the all-time list of Test double centuries.

Misbah was also aware that getting the wicket of Mahela Jayawardene, who will play his final Test, would be crucial for his side.

“Everybody knows that he is a class player and in this particular ground he has scored so many runs and so many centuries. As a team we want to get him early,” Misbah added.

“He's a kind of player who can be a dangerous customer. You just can't go on the records that he has not scored heavily against us. We have to be really focused on him.” – Reuters



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