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Misbah: Hope Ajmal’s action will be cleared

Saeed Ajmal, during a practice session, on Wednesday

Colombo: Pakistan are not worried about Saeed Ajmal who has been reported for a suspect bowling action and feel rather confident that the ace off-spinner will be cleared, captain Misbah-ul Haq said.

Match officials reported Ajmal to the ICC for a suspect bowling action following the first Test defeat to Sri Lanka in Galle, but is permitted to bowl until his bowling is scrutinised 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 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 cleared. We will just concentrate on our game and look forward to playing good cricket and try to win this Test.”

Misbah blamed his side’s lack of consistency for their seven-wicket loss in the first Test. “We played well in patches. We performed well on and off and lacked consistency, not winning every session,” the 40-year-old said.

“We want to make sure in this Test that it doesn’t happen with our batting and we 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. A player like Kumar Sangakkara is world class and in good form. So when he gets set in goof batting conditions, it will be very difficult for bowlers of any team to get him out,” said Misbah.

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