Dubai: Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal loved showing up his critics by claiming the wickets of four left-handed batsmen in the first Test against England on Tuesday.
Ajmal's career-best figures of 7-55 included the wickets of captain Andrew Strauss, Eoin Morgan, Stuart Broad and James Anderson — all lefties — as England was bowled out for 192.
The offspinner was the top international wicket-taker in 2011 with 50 wickets but has been often criticized for his vulnerability against lefties.
The offspinner was the top international wicket-taker in 2011 with 50 wickets.
"Everyone blames that I can't get left-handers out, so I proved that wrong," he said with a broad smile.
England struggled to handle Ajmal's offspinners and doosra, the delivery that spins away from the right-handed batsman. But he had some advice for the world's top-ranked test team.
"They should have played on the front foot (but) they played bad shots to my advantage," he said.
Ajmal picked Strauss' wicket as the "best one" as the captain tried to pull off the back foot but missed the line of a straight delivery which knocked back the off stump.
The offspinner did not need his mystery delivery called the 'teesra' that he promised to bowl in the three-Test series.
"I did try to bowl that delivery but I have not perfected it," he said.
"I don't have full confidence in that delivery so maybe I bowl it in the next 2-3 innings."
Ajmal and England dismissed questions that the teesra was playing on the batsmen's minds.
"I can't comment on whether they have problems with the talk of teesra," Ajmal said.
"I bowled wicket to wicket and it was my good day."
Wicketkeeper batsman Matt Prior, who fought the lone battle for England with an unbeaten 70 until he ran out of partners, said, "I don't think he got in our heads. Obviously we spoke about him. He's a big threat. He's had a good day today, he's bowled well, fair play.
"I don't think its a case of us overthinking or fearing him ... we just didn't quite get it right."
Pakistan trail England by 150 runs and will resume their first innings at 42 without loss on Wednesday.