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Saeed Ajmal backs Yasir Shah to continue playing for Pakistan

The 42-year-old suggested leg-spinner to work on follow through

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 7, 2020 | Last Updated: 5 months ago
Posted: Sep 7, 2020 | Last Updated: 5 months ago
Saeed Ajmal backs Yasir Shah to continue playing for Pakistan

Photo: AFP

Former off-spinner Saeed Ajmal has backed Yasir Shah to still represent Pakistan for another three years.

The leg-spinner’s form is on a downward spiral recently with a drop in number of wickets and an increase in his average over the last two seasons.

The 34-year-old, who became fastest bowler to take 200 Test wickets, had a stellar 2018-19 campaign where he managed to claim 38 wickets at an average of 25.60.

However, the fortunes changed for the Swabi-born as he took just 10 wickets from four games at an average of 67 in the 2019-20 season.

Shah’s form came under scrutiny when he conceded staggering 402 runs in the two-match Test series against hosts Australia at an average of 100.50 with just four wickets to his name.

Ajmal, while talking to Samaa TV, backed the right-arm leggie to continue playing for Pakistan for another three years.

“Age has nothing to do with the bowling performance of a spinner,” said the 42-year-old. “He has performed exceptionally well for the team and made a name for himself in the longest format at a very early stage. I don’t think there are a lot of problems with him.”

The Islamabad United’s bowling mentor further went on to advice Shah to keep working hard. “When you reach at the highest level, you have to find a way to improve yourself. You cannot just rely on your current achievements. So he [Shah] should think about how he can improve his overall game.”

Slight adjustments

Ajmal went on to say that England is not a country where spinners would perform well but suggest Shah should make some adjustments in order to bring more consistency in his bowling.

“During the previous tour, Yasir bagged 10 wickets in the first Test at Lord’s but could not dismiss the batsmen in the rest of the games,” he said. “I reckon if he can work on his follow through, he will become a better bowler.”

Shah has represented Pakistan in 42 matches in the five-day format where he has 224 wickets to his name at a strike-rate of 57.1, which included 16 five-wicket hauls.

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