Is Ajmal growing over Swann as modern day’s best spinner?
As time is passing, cricket is evolving and growing better by every passing day. The players also are developing new techniques and skills to perform their best on the field. Just when everyone thought that the world of cricket is witnessing the phase of extinction of off-spinners breed with the retirement of Muralitharan and the degrading performances of Harbhajan Singh, the beautiful game of cricket gave the world two world class off-spinners in Saeed Ajmal and Graeme Swann.
Whether it is in Indian subcontinent or in English conditions, Graeme Swann has proved himself on every turf that he has been asked to play. On the other hand, Saeed Ajmal has changed the game of cricket with his skillful bowling changes and his variations. Pakistan fraternity is now equipped with a weapon which it has not witnessed since the departure of Saqlain Mushtaq from the scene. The land of Akram’s , Imran’s and Waqar’s has seen some of the greats in the spin department with Abdul Qadir and Mushtaq Ahmad being the best among them. But it was Saeed Ajmal who made his mark as one of the perfect game changer a team wants in its ranks. He has breathed a new life into the Pakistani bowling attack.
Swann vs Ajamal, statistics
Since 1996, when Ajmal made his debut in first class cricket, nearly a decade passed over after which he got his first chance on the international stage in the year 2008. Since then there has been no looking-back in his life. He has been one of the best bowlers in both the formats of the game and has also been on the top of the ranking table many times. The year 2011 was the most fruitful year for Ajmal as he took 50 wickets from just 8 test matches and was the highest wicket taker in 2011. Pakistan won 5 out of the 8 test matches, drew 2 and lost just one of them.
Watch out for Ajmal in the coming years
Ajmal’s progress as a bowler has been much better than the English counterpart as he took only 11 matches to reach the tally of 100 wickets in comparison to Swann’s 13 test matches. The next 50 wickets came in only 8 matches as compared to Swann’s 10. Swann also surpassed Mohammad Asif as Pakistan’s fastest 100 wicket taker. In the last year or so, Ajmal has suppressed Swann as best off-spinner in the world. Swann’s average of 30.50 for his 34 wickets in 9 matches is only second best to Ajmal’s 67 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 21.19. Swann only has a better record than Ajmal in the sense that his strike rate of 57.7 is better than Ajmal’s 62.5.
Both these bowlers have completely different action with Ajmal being a wrist spinner and Swann being a traditional off-spinner. Over the coming days, it will not be a surprise if the small spinning wizard slowly takes over Swann as the best off-spinner in the world with his mystery spin bowling which keeps the batsmen guessing.