Karachi: A leading biomechanics expert Daryl Foster, who also worked as bowling coach with the Pakistan team, believes Saeed Ajmal should have been chosen ahead of others to replace the injured Muhammad Hafeez for the cricket World Cup.
Foster, who works at the bowling assessment centre in Perth, has helped some Pakistani bowlers correct their actions and pass biomechanics test, said that he would have preferred Ajmal since quality spin would play a decisive role in Australia and New Zealand.
Foster, who worked with Pakistan in three stints between 2001 and 2004 said he was surprised the team didn't opt for Ajmal even after he had been cleared in the ICC bowling assessment test. "I certainly would have picked Saeed Ajmal after Muhammad Hafeez, unfortunately, had to withdraw. Saeed is a match winner and if anything can upset teams like Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, who I regard as the favourites, it is good quality spin bowling," Foster told Dawn.Com website.
"Ajmal has proven himself to be the best spinner in World cricket in all forms of the game so why, unless he is injured, wouldn't you select him?" Foster, who has worked with Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan and recently Sachithra Senanayake, asked.
In the absence of key spinners, Foster said the enigmatic Shahid Afridi would play a vital role for Pakistan. "Afridi is one of the key players in the tournament as he has that X-factor and he will be a very important cog in driving Pakistan's success. I wish him and the team the best of luck."
Foster said he saw no reason why Pakistan would not pick Ajmal despite him not having played international cricket since August 2014. Interestingly the Pakistan Cricket Board had given the tour selection committee the option of waiting for a day for Ajmal's test result to come out and then deciding on a replacement for Hafeez.
But the tour selectors decided to call up left-arm pacer, Rahat Ali, who has played just a single one-dayer in June, 2012.
PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan even on Friday made it clear that Ajmal was still an option to join the squad in the World Cup if any other player had to be replaced due to injury.
Not picked for the World Cup, Ajmal has taken up a lucrative pundit role for a television channel during the mega-event.