Saeed Ajmal
Saeed Ajmal (Credits: Twitter)

Former Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal has given a piece of advice to national team bowlers, who are concurrently participating in the limited-over series in New Zealand to contain the hosts after struggling in the first One-day International game in Wellington on January 6.

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“Pakistan will need to overcome the mistakes they committed in the first game if they are to claim the second ODI,” Ajmal told the Express Tribune.

New Zealand Vs Pakistan, Saeed Ajmal, Nelson, ODI, Shadab Khan, Hasan, Ali
Pakistan bowlers looked rusty in Wellington in the first ODI against New Zealand. Photo Credit: AFP.

Struggling with the ball in particular where Pakistan has boasted about the bowling stocks, but the visitors’ bowlers failed to control the run-rate particularly on a surface which has something on an offer for the fast bowlers.

The 40-year-old Ajmal, who played a massive role for Pakistan before being banned over his suspected action which further saw him fighting his way back to the national team before bidding an adieu to the gentleman’s game.

It’s pertinent to mention Pakistan bowlers have conceded 315 runs in the first of five-match ODI series at Basin Reserve and with ODI scheduled at Saxton Oval in Nelson, the premier off-spinner believes bowlers must learn from the lost encounter which was won by Kane Williamson-led side by 61 runs owing to the Duckworth-Lewis Method (DLS).

Moreover, the bowlers conceded seven wickets which further included the three leg byes in the total of 10 extras.

New Zealand Vs Pakistan, Saeed Ajmal, Nelson, ODI, Shadab Khan, Hasan, Ali
Hasan Ali picked three wickets, but was bit expensive the way he bowled so far since his appearance in the national side. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Pakistan bowling attack was lead by Mohammad Amir, as Hasan Ali was the pick of the bowlers with 61 for three in his quota of 10 overs.

“Hasan took wickets but he was also quite expensive. Pakistan cannot afford to let the hosts score more than 300 if New Zealand once again bat first,” Ajmal added.

New Zealand Vs Pakistan, Saeed Ajmal, Nelson, ODI, Shadab Khan, Hasan, Ali
The highlight of Pakistan innings was Fakhar Zaman, who scored unbeaten 82. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

It’s pertinent to mention, Sarfraz Ahmed has used six bowlers which saw the five bowlers conceded over six runs.

However, alongside Amir, Rumman Raees, Faheem Ashraf and Fakhar Zaman picked wicket apiece, as leg-spinner Shadab Khan, who returned from the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL) stint.

Ajmal further reiterated the management of the team should back as he feels Shadab is not able to be among the wickets even after being a quality bowler at such an age.

“Shadab can be a very effective bowler but he was unable to claim even a single wicket. The coaching staff and the captain need to look into this,” Ajmal asserted.

New Zealand Vs Pakistan, Saeed Ajmal, Nelson, ODI, Shadab Khan, Hasan, Ali
Saeed Ajmal was giving the guard of honour during the National T20 Cup, 2017. Photo Credit: PCB.

Further, the Faisalabad-based Ajmal has played 113 ODIs in which he bagged 184 wickets at an average of 22.72, has observed that Pakistan bowled well in the practice game when it came to the batting

“In the practice match, the openers did well and put a strong base for the remaining pack but in the first ODI Azhar Ali’s wicket early on meant they could not do so this time around,” Ajmal said.

New Zealand Vs Pakistan, Saeed Ajmal, Nelson, ODI, Shadab Khan, Hasan, Ali
Saeed Ajmal has been backing the youngsters. Photo Credit: PCB.

Ajmal has further hailed the efforts of Kiwis by keeping Pakistan batters quiet as he hinted the hosts have done their homework well.

“New Zealand knew that Pakistan won the Champions Trophy in similar conditions in England so they had to nullify the visitors; and they did that very well,” Ajmal concluded.

Since 2008 and 2015, Ajmal has also played 64 Twenty20 Internationals and 35 Test for Pakistan. Across formats, he has bagged 447 scalps.

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Tahir Ibn Manzoor

Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at Cricket Addictor, who follows cricket like food and he has a great affection for the long-form journalism. He Tweets @TahirIbnManzoor