x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Adnan Akmal enjoys test of keeping wicket to Saeed Ajmal

The Pakistan wicketkeeper says it is not easy being the stumps with the spinner bowling as his team prepare to face England at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

Adnan Akmal claimed seven catches in Pakistan's victory over England in Dubai.
Adnan Akmal claimed seven catches in Pakistan's victory over England in Dubai.

ABU DHABI // If there is consolation to England after their defeat in Dubai against Pakistan, it is that their batsmen were not the only ones who struggled to decipher Saeed Ajmal's doosra.

Adnan Akmal, Pakistan's wicketkeeper, also struggled a little to pick it. Akmal took seven catches in a successful Test for him - he scored a vital 61 as well - although he only took one off Ajmal's bowling and missed a couple of difficult chances off him.

"It's a bit different and difficult," Akmal said. "Every time I keep wickets I watch his hand and I've practised a lot on Ajmal's bowling. It's only after that that I am doing better on his bowling."

Akmal has been working with Ijaz Ahmed, the fielding coach, sessions he said he has benefited greatly from.

His contributions, however, will have soothed Pakistan considerably. Touted as the best pure wicketkeeper in Pakistan for a number of years, he was behind his own elder brother Kamran in the pecking order.

But Kamran's poor form allowed Akmal to debut in November 2010, and apart from a brief exclusion on the trip to the West Indies last May, he has been a regular.

"I am a wicketkeeper first so I enjoy my keeping and then batting is my plus point. Kamran always guided me. I have learnt a lot from him as he has played more cricket than me.