Kaneria urges Pakistan to play Ajmal against SL

Updated: Feb 25, 2011, 20:43 PM IST

Karachi: Pakistan`s out of favour leg-spinner Danish Kaneria urged the Pakistan team management to play off-spinner Saeed Ajmal in the World Cup game against
Sri Lanka in Colombo on Saturday as he felt that the latter would be very effective against the left-handed batsmen.

"I think Saeed should be played because Sri Lanka have lot of left handers and he is a very experienced bowler and good at bowling to left-handers," Kaneria said.

Kaneria also noted that spinners were already playing a key role in the tournament as even South Africa had gone into their match against the West Indies with four players who could bowl spin.

"The World Cup looks like a spinners` paradise already. South Africa went with four spinners with great success. They also surprised everyone by opening the innings with Johan Botha who responded in the first over," he said.

However, Kaneria, his country`s highest wicket-taker in Tests as a spinner, adviced Pakistan against experimenting on similar lines.

"I don`t think Pakistan should experiment despite the fact that Afridi is very quick. There shouldn`t be too much experimentation, unlike the South Africans, who opted to do so against weaker opposition."

Kaneria also suggested the Pakistani spinners to bowl with attacking fields and noted that Afridi had picked up five wickets against Kenya by having an attacking field.

"Abdul Rehman went for a defensive field and mainly bowled a flat trajectory. This was quite surprising given a spinning pitch with the minnows facing a huge target. He should`ve bowled with a positive frame of mind, taking wickets with added close-in fielders," said Kaneria.

"That would`ve given him a few scalps too and provided him with added confidence for the bigger games. Even the Kenyan spinners were extracting a lot of turn on this track so Rehman`s tactics were all the more surprising," he added.

Kaneria also felt that if Pakistan win the toss against Sri Lanka, they should opt to bat.

"Pakistan have a potent attack with some quality pace bowlers to put pressure on the opposition.”

"There is also the dew factor which makes one think of bowling first but that in my mind would be a defensive approach," he said.

The leg-spinner also played down the threat posed by champion off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

"I think most of our batsmen have already played him a lot in all forms of the game and know how to play him. It would be a mistake focussing just on him and not on the entire Lankan bowling attack."

PTI