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Ajmal: Ready to torment the Indians

Saeed Ajmal

Karachi: Beginning the mind games ahead of the limited-overs series against arch-rivals, Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal says he is ready to bamboozle the Indian batsmen with a new variety of deliveries.

“I have some varieties up my sleeves,” he said.

Ajmal said the series will be a tough test for his side since India have a formidable batting line-up.

“For T20 and ODIs they have a strong batting line-up and it is going to be a challenge against them. It does not matter whether I am bowling to Sachin Tendulkar or Virat Kohli, my aim is to get wickets for my team,” he said.

Ajmal, who has remained among the top three bowlers in the ICC Test, ODI and T20 rankings since last year, said he was prepared to bowl on batting tracks in India.

“But I have always believed that a quality spinner shows his class on such pitches against good batsmen,” he said.

The spinner said he did not see the series as any revenge series for the defeats Pakistan suffered at the hands of India in the Asia Cup and World T20 Cup this year.

“Every match is a new match… We have a good strong side and we know that beating India in India will be a significant achievement for us. So we are focusing on this series as a new series,” he said.

Ajmal was all praise for uncapped off-spinner Adnan Rasool, who performed well in domestic cricket this season.

“This guy has loads of talent and he is the future Saeed Ajmal of the team. Head coach, Dav Whatmore is also impressed with him and I think he should get a chance in the Pakistan team soon,” he said.

The Pakistan team arrive in Bangalore on Friday. The first T20 will be on December 25.

Meanwhile, English county Hampshire said on Friday that they have secured the services of Ajmal next season as a two-month replacement for Australia Twenty20 skipper George Bailey.

The 35-year-old Ajmal, who has taken 122 wickets in 23 Tests and was instrumental in Pakistan’s win over England in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year, will play in August and September when Bailey joins Australia’s limited-overs squad.

Bailey is likely to be involved in Australia's T20 internationals against visitors England.

“I am very pleased to be joining Hampshire to play in the County Championship,” said Ajmal, who has previously turned out for Worcestershire in the 2011 campaign.

“I have always enjoyed playing in England and look forward to playing my part in helping Hampshire get promoted," he added in a statement on the club’s website ageasbowl.com

The southern English county start next season in the second division.

The arrival of Ajmal — described by Hampshire manager Giles Smith as "one of the best bowlers in the world in all forms of the game — will be vital if young left-arm spinner Danny Briggs is also involved in the England-Australia ODIs. (agencies)