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Pakistan to target Gayle in Champions Trophy

ABBOTTABAD: Wily Pakistan off spinner Saeed Ajmal vowed on Monday to target West Indian swashbuckler Chris Gayle when the two sides meet in the Champions Trophy next month.

Pakistan is currently featuring in a tune-up camp in Abbottabad hoping to match conditions in England where the eight-nation Trophy will be played from June 6-23.

The 35-year-old Ajmal anchors Pakistan's spin department in the tournament where they face the West Indies in their opening group B match at The Oval on June 7.

The match is seen as an encounter between Gayle and Pakistani bowlers, and Ajmal hopes to rein in the Jamaican who is in great form in the ongoing Indian Premier League, having smashed a world record 175 not out.

“We are practicing and the way Gayle has been playing it is amazing,” Ajmal told reporters.

“We are looking at the videos of his batting because we have a match against them and hopefully we will have no problems.”

Pakistan will also face South Africa on June 10 and arch-rivals India on June 15 -- both at Birmingham.

Defending champions Australia, England, Sri Lanka and New Zealand feature in group A. Top two teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals.

“Whether the batsman is a left-hander or right-hander, the ball is in our hand, the bat is in their hands. We have to bowl them out to go forward and we are going there with a positive mind. There are eight teams and, hopefully, we will win.”

Ajmal, who has 125 wickets in ODI cricket hopes to perform in the English conditions.

“I have to work hard because batsmen hit hard from the word go so its important to bowl well and I am working hard on that,” said Ajmal.

“I have overcome pain in my lower abdomen and doctors have said it will go with medicine, but I will go for a check-up in England as well,” said Ajmal, who was initially diagnosed with a hernia.

Ajmal said Pakistan will miss paceman Umar Gul (injured) and leg-spinner Shahid Afridi (left out of the squad).

“Afridi is a legend and no doubt we will miss him and Gul but the team is balanced and we have good bowlers in Junaid (Khan), Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan and Abdul Rehman,” said Ajmal.

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Comments (6) Closed

Sumant bhalla
May 09, 2013 08:12am

It is more likely that Gayle will target Pakistan than Pakistan targeting Gayle.

May 07, 2013 05:35am
Chris Gayle is the nightmare for every bowler these days he is on the best of his career and Pakistani players definitely need to target his weak points because one good inning of Gayle can get you out of the tournament
May 06, 2013 11:22pm
Gayle who? There are hundred other batsmen to get wickets from. Is any one thinking of them as well.
May 07, 2013 07:50am
why would abyone miss afridi?? anyway go ajmal show them why you are the no.1 bowler !
May 07, 2013 09:54am
You will regret dropping Afridi,,also why does Ajmal have to talk so much,must keep your cards close to the chest
May 07, 2013 10:13am
This is called Mind Games