In Mendis, Ajmal has a ‘challenge’

“It’s great to return figures of six for eight... It will be challenging to improve on Mendis’ record,” he said.

Colombo: Ajantha Mendis’ record-breaking effort in the World Twenty20 opener, against Zimbabwe, has thrown a challenge to Saeed Ajmal.

“It’s great to return figures of six for eight... Dekhiye, if I can, I’ll try and do better... It will be challenging to improve on Mendis’ record,” Ajmal told The Telegraph at the Cinnamon Grand on Wednesday afternoon.

While Mendis mixes it up, Ajmal is a pucca off-break bowler.

Pakistan lost to England in a warm-up match a while earlier, but Ajmal took four wickets.

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“Wicket nikalna hamara kaam hai, that’s what I do,” Ajmal added, not sounding too concerned that he’d not been shortlisted for the ICC’s Test Cricketer of the Year award.

“My biggest rewards come on the field, bahar award mile ya na mile,” Ajmal pointed out.

But, surely, he was Pakistan’s trump card... “This team has more than one trump card... Main koi akela nahin hoon,” Ajmal replied, smiling.

Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Mohammed Hafeez is “excited” to be leading in such a big tournament.

Speaking exclusively, Hafeez said: “I’ve got a good team, so there’s no question of being under pressure... Good players make a captain’s job easier.”

There’s no disputing that.

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