Karachi: Top Pakistani spinner Saeed Ajmal can't wait for the much-anticipated tour of India next month as the late-bloomer has played just once before on the Indian soil.
"I started my international career late and I have got a chance to play just one match against India in their own backyard the 2011 World Cup semi-final at Mohali," Ajmal said.
"That is why I am eagerly looking forward to this tour as it will be a challenge bowling to the Indian batsmen in their own backyard," he said.
Ajmal, who began his international career at the age of 31, was among the probables when Pakistan last toured India in 2007 but couldn't make the final squad for any format of the game.
"I was disappointed then because every cricketer wants to play a proper series in India and prove his worth," he said.
"I didn't get a chance to play a full series in India because of the suspension of bilateral relations since 2007 but now finally I am getting my chance and it is exciting for me," he added.
Ajmal, who is the top bowler in the ICC one-day rankings and also among the top three in the Test and T20 rankings, has taken 122 wickets in 23 Tests, 109 wickets in 71 ODIs and another 69 in 48 T20s. In fact, batsmen around the world are still unable to figure out his doosra.
Ajmal said he hoped the tour would go ahead on schedule and he was preparing hard for it. "I am training hard although I missed some matches of the President's Trophy due to illness for which doctor had advised me rest. And the pitches also this time are more suited for pace bowlers in the tournament. But I am still working hard on preparing for the Indian tour," he said.
Ajmal said that he would relish the challenge of bowling to India's top batsmen. "To be a top bowler, one must always relish the challenge of doing battle with the world's best batsmen. Bowling to the Indians in the World Cup semi-final and in the Asia Cup was also a great experience for me and I learnt a lot," he said.
On playing in the Big Bash in Australia after the Pakistan board released three players on Monday. Ajmal said that he would be playing one match.
"Yes I will be going on December 6 to play one match for the Adelaide Strikers and will than return to prepare for the Indian tour," Ajmal said.