A day after news came out that the India camp is agitated over Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal's action, the 34-year-old hit back with comments loaded with sarcasm.
Before going into the nets Ajmal asked someone in the Pakistan media who had raised questions about his action. What the television reporter told him was inaudible, but after practice, Ajmal was ready to fire.
"Tendulkar toh sir hai," he said in jest. "He is towards the end of his career, but he is a big batsman," he said on a more serious note on Tuesday when he was asked whether the Indians were scared of his bowling and were trying to put pressure on him by raising questions whether his action was legal.Not bothered
"After playing for so many years, these things do not put pressure on me anymore. This is not the first time questions have been raised about my action. The ICC (International Cricket Council) said there was nothing wrong with my action even during the England series. So why should anyone question that?"
"The last match Virat (Kohli) played an exceptional knock. He won't be able to repeat that every time. Who knows, in the next match I can bag five wickets. I'm confident we will win in the final if we play India," Ajmal said after a long practice session by the Pakistan team. Ajmal began with a long chat with coach Dav Whatmore and then bowled in tandem with Abdur Rehman.
He was asked whether he was polishing a chautha (fourth delivery) for the Indians. He was quick to answer: "Let them first handle the teesra (third one), chautha can come later."
Teesra, coined by former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, was popularised by Ajmal and it's a ball that holds its line after pitching. With the bowler slipping in one between orthodox off-spin and the doosra, which leaves the right-hander after pitching, batsmen are generally foxed playing for the turn.
"You have to pick a bowler like Ajmal off his hand. A lot of batsmen tend to stay back and try to play him off the wicket, but with the teesra generally hurrying on after pitching, batsmen make mistakes," former Pakistan spinner and coach Intikhab Alam, a member of the Pakistan Cricket Board's development committee, told HT. "He is one of the best off-spinners in the world."