ABU DHABI: Pakistan's young wicket-keeper Adnan Akmal on Monday admitted England's destroyer Saeed Ajmal was difficult to judge from behind the wicket and he needed extra workouts to be successful.
Ajmal took a career best 7-55 in the first innings and then 3-42 in the second to help Pakistan rout England by ten wickets in the first Test in Dubai, giving them a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series.
But despite the difficulty the 26-year-old Adnan finished with seven catches in the match and his valuable knock of 61 helped Pakistan gain an important 146-run lead in the first innings.
Adnan, who replaced his more experienced elder brother Kamran Akmal in Pakistan line-up in 2010, said Ajmal was difficult to keep wickets on.
“I had some trouble keeping on Ajmal's doosra (the second one),” Adnan, refering to Ajmal's delivery which turns the other way than the normal off-break, said ahead of the second Test which starts here from Wednesday.
“I worked with Ijaz Ahmed (fielding coach) and the work out and the drills helped me a lot. That came as a great benefit for me and helped me in the match,” said Adnan, 26.
“It's a bit different and difficult to keep off Ajmal. You know how to keep wickets on the off-spin that it will come in and one that goes out, so its difficult. Every time I keep wickets I watch his hand and have practised a lot,” said Adnan.
Adnan denied he has set any signals with Ajmal on which delivery will come next.
“It's only after a lot of practice that I am doing better on his bowling. I have set no signals because if you set signals then it's no use being keeper,”said Adnan.
Adnan, who made his debut against South Africa in 2010, said batting is his plus point.
“My effort is always to give my best for Pakistan, for my team so every time I want to give benefit to the team. I enjoy keeping but batting is my plus point,” said Adnan.
When asked about Ajmal's mystery delivery —teesra (the third one) -- which the spinner had claimed to unveil against England —Adnan said he had found no different delivery.
“I never felt any difference, they were normal deliveries like I have been keeping on in the last ten twelve matches, he was bowling in the same manner.
It may be different for the batsmen but I did not feel any difference,” said Adnan.
Adnan said Ajmal's outstanding bowling forced England's batsmen into submission.
“I think we bowled very well, they are better batsmen than us. I don't know what happened. It was Allah's blessings and that's why we won the match. Ajmal was outstanding in the match.”