Home » » Why Ajmal will be missed in the UAE

Why Ajmal will be missed in the UAE

Sponsored Ads
Over the next month, Pakistan will take on Australia in conditions that should favour the team from the subcontinent. The Tests will be played in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and the ODIs in these two venues and in Sharjah. Pakistan have traditionally done well at these venues, but this time they will have to overcome a handicap: Saeed Ajmal will be missing from their line-up since he was banned by the ICC for an illegal bowling action. Since Ajmal made his international debut in July 2008, he has been an integral part of Pakistan's bowling attack in all three formats. Despite that, he has played only 35 Tests in his entire career so far. He is just a few days short of his 37th birthday and thus unlikely to continue in international cricket for much longer, regardless of how soon the ban is lifted. Ajmal made his Test debut a year after he played his first ODI, and was 32 by the time he entered the Test arena. His Test career has so far lasted five years, which is as long as Graeme Swann's Test career - he played from December 2008 to December 2013. However, thanks to the uneven international scheduling, Swann played 60 Tests in five years compared to Ajmal's 35. (Ajmal has missed ten Tests in this period, while Swann missed five during his playing career, which still means England played 21 more Tests than Pakistan in those five-year periods.) Saeed Ajmal v Graeme Swann Span Tests missed* Tests played Wkts Average Strike rate 5WI/ 10WM Graeme Swann Dec 2008-Dec 2013 6 60 255 29.96 60.1 17/ 3 Saeed Ajmal Jul 2009-present 10 35 178 28.10 65.1 10/ 4* Matches missed during their playing careers In the 35 Tests that Ajmal has played, Pakistan have a 12-16 win-loss record. The win-loss ratio is exactly the same - three wins, four losses - in the ten Tests he mised, which might lead people to believe his absence won't affect the team much. However, those broad numbers hide an important detail: nine of those ten Tests he didn't play were outside the subcontinent - in New Zealand, Australia and England, where seamers and swing bowlers usually do more damage. The only Test he didn't feature in in the subcontinent was against South Africa in Abu Dhabi in 2010: in a high-scoring draw, South Africa made 584 for 9 in their first innings, with AB de Villiers making an unbeaten 278. In the 12 Tests that he has played in the UAE, Pakistan have a 6-2 win-loss record, with three victories against England, two against Sri Lanka and one against South Africa. Their two defeats have been against Sri Lanka and South Africa. In those 12 Tests, Ajmal has taken 67 wickets at an average of 26.46; in the six victories, he has 43 wickets at 17.95. The next-highest is Abdur Rehman's 38. In ODIs too Ajmal's record is equally impressive. Going into the series against Australia, his absence is a huge setback for Pakistan. Pakistan in Tests and ODIs, with and without Saeed Ajmal Tests ODIs Matches W/ L Ratio Matches W/ L Ratio With Ajmal 35 12/ 16 0.75 111 55/ 53 1.03 Without Ajmal 10 3/ 4 0.75 24 14/ 9 1.55 Saeed Ajmal in the UAE, in Tests and ODIs Tests ODIs Matches Wickets Average Matches Wickets Average Econ rate All matches 12 67 26.46 36 64 21.17 4.04 In wins 6 43 17.95 16 26 19.46 3.50 In the 35 Tests that Ajmal has played, he has taken about a third of the total wickets taken by all Pakistan bowlers, which indicates how crucial he has been to the bowling attack. (Swann took about 26% of the team's wickets in the Tests he played, but he also played much more in England, where conditions were often more favourable for quick bowlers.) Ajmal has a better average than the other Pakistan bowlers, though the strike rate isn't very different, because of Ajmal's superior economy rate. In the UAE, though, Ajmal's average of 26.46 is far superior to that of the other Pakistan bowlers (34.01). In ODIs, the difference between Ajmal and the others is clearer, both in terms of wicket-taking ability and in terms of keeping a check on runs. His average is about 33% better than the others, and his economy rate is about 15% more superior. These numbers suggest that Australia's batsmen will have it considerably easier since they won't have to contend with Ajmal, especially in the UAE. Ajmal v other Pakistan bowlers, in Tests Tests Wickets Average Strike rate 5WI/ 10WM Saeed Ajmal, overall 35 178 28.10 65.1 10/ 4 Other Pak bowlers, overall 35 380 32.76 65.2 14/ 0 Saeed Ajmal, in the UAE 12 67 26.46 64.9 3/ 1 Other Pak bowlers, in the UAE 12 132 34.01 72.4 4/ 0 Saeed Ajmal v other Pakistan bowlers, in ODIs ODIs Wickets Average Econ rate Strike rate Saeed Ajmal, overall 111 183 22.18 4.13 32.1 Other Pak bowlers, overall 111 580 33.39 4.82 41.5 Saeed Ajmal, in the UAE 36 64 21.17 4.04 31.4 Other Pak bowlers, in the UAE 36 194 33.78 4.81 42.1 The year 2014 hasn't been a great one for Ajmal the Test bowler - he has taken 17 wickets in four matches at 37.35 - but otherwise his numbers in both formats have been exceptional since the beginning of 2011. In Tests, only Rangana Herath has taken more wickets among spinners, though the averages and strike rates for the two are very similar. Pragyan Ojha and Abdur Rehman also have averages in the mid-20s, but they haven't played as many matches. In ODIs no spinner comes close to the number of wickets Ajmal has taken during this period. R Ashwin has played as many matches as Ajmal, but has taken 40 fewer wickets, at a higher economy rate. Mohammad Hafeez has a better economy rate, but he averages less than a wicket per match, compared to Ajmal's 1.83 per match. The combination of his wicket-taking ability, and his tendency to keep the runs in check makes Ajmal an outstanding ODI bowler, and one whose services Pakistan will be desperate to employ in the 2015 World Cup. Leading wicket-takers among spinners in Tests since Jan 2011 Bowler Tests Wickets Average Strike rate 5WI/ 10WM Rangana Herath 33 182 26.02 59.3 17/ 4 Saeed Ajmal 26 145 25.46 61.0 9/ 4 Graeme Swann 32 129 32.21 63.4 7/ 2 Nathan Lyon 33 112 32.99 65.6 5/ 0 R Ashwin 21 107 28.65 59.1 9/ 2 Abdur Rehman 18 79 26.84 67.1 2/ 0 Pragyan Ojha 13 71 24.26 57.6 7/ 1 Shane Shillingford 11 56 29.00 57.9 6/ 2 Leading wicket-takers among spinners in ODIs since Jan 2011 Bowler ODIs Wickets Average Econ rate Strike rate Saeed Ajmal 76 139 19.53 4.00 29.2 R Ashwin 76 99 33.71 4.88 41.4 Ravindra Jadeja 70 98 28.94 4.65 37.2 Shahid Afridi 75 90 30.95 4.61 40.2 Mohammad Hafeez 91 77 34.88 3.82 54.6 Sunil Narine 52 73 26.49 4.10 38.6 Ajantha Mendis 32 57 21.64 4.63 28.0 James Tredwell 37 55 24.58 4.74 31.0 Rangana Herath 51 51 33.25 4.38 45.4 S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter RSS Feeds: S Rajesh



from Watch Hindi Drama Serial Online | Full Episode http://ift.tt/1vjZ3QW