Johannesburg: Former Pakistan ace off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq has defended the controversial 'doosra' delivery he invented, after it came under renewed scrutiny since fellow Pakistani Saeed Ajmal's bowling ban last week.
The doosra, which means 'the second one' in Urdu, turns from legside to offside, which is the opposite direction to orthodox off breaks. It is bowled from the back of the hand with a lot of top-spin, though the bowler's wrist still moves in a clockwise direction, making it difficult for a batsman to pick.
Saqlain is credited with its invention, adding to a list of Pakistani innovations in cricket including the batsman's reverse-sweep and reverse swing bowling, Sport24 reported.
However, the delivery has come to be regarded with deep suspicion by many, particularly in Australia and England, where critics charge that doosra bowlers bend their arm beyond the permissible 15-degree limit.
Saqlain, who took 208 Test and 288 one-day wickets, said that the naysayers were wrong. He said that who says 'doosra' is illegal, adding that it can easily be delivered within the allowed rules.
Saqlain said that it is not an easy delivery to bowl but if a bowler becomes expert he doesn't transgress limits. He also said that one requires strong muscles to bowl a doosra, then fitness matters, also grip, rhythm and follow through.
Saqlain will arrive in Lahore next week to start remedial work on Ajmal's action, reported during the Galle Test against Sri Lanka last month. The International Cricket Council (ICC) banned Ajmal after his action was assessed in a biomechanics lab in Brisbane, Australia, which revealed he flexes his elbow up to 43 degrees for his off-spinner and 42 for his doosra, the report added.