Ajmal targets Gayle as Champions trophy looms

Karachi, May 16 (IANS/CMC) West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle is again being singled out as a player for intense scrutiny as momentum builds ahead of next month’s ICC Champions Trophy.

Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal says Gayle, widely considered as the world’s most dangerous cricketer, is among the opposition batsmen being targeted.

Gayle, who scored 77 for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League Tuesday, set the cricket world abuzz with an astonishing 175 not out in the IPL last month.

“We are targeting players like Chris Gayle, who plays so well in Twenty20,” Ajmal said Wednesday.

“He may be a good batsman but I am also the number one spinner in ODI and look forward to dismissing him quickly and seizing the advantage.”

Ajmal has been working closely with Pakistan’s video analyst as part of a strategy to target Gayle and other opposition batsmen.

Ajmal is the second player within weeks, following South Africa captain AB de Villiers, who has identified the West Indian batsman as a player to watch for the ICC Champions Trophy.

“I know the teams plan against me. And I am also planning against them,” said Ajmal.

“Although I haven’t added any new variation this time, I am looking at their videos and planning accordingly. Spinners have an important role in all formats of the game and those like me, who bowl in death overs, have to work extra hard to counter the batsmen.”

The Champions Trophy runs from June 6-23 in England and Wales.



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