Former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, backing his compatriot Saeed Ajmal's bowling action, has said it is for the International Cricket Council (ICC) and not former England skipper Bob Willis to decide whether the offie's doosra was legal or not.
Willis doubted Ajmal's bowling action, especially when he bowls the doosra, after Pakistan won the first Test against England in Dubai by 10 wickets last Thursday. Ajmal picked up seven for 55 in the first innings and finished with a match haul of 10 for 92.
Saqlain, who introduced the doosra to world cricket, said Willis is not an authority to judge the legality of Ajmal's doosra.
"There are absolutely no problems with Saeed Ajmal's bowling action. Bob Willis is not the cricketing authority - it's the ICC, the umpires and referees who are there to deem whether a bowling action is legal or illegal," said Saqlain.
Saqlain said Ajmal had played county cricket last season at Worcestershire and was never called by the umpires for chucking.
"Ajmal has been playing international cricket long enough now for his bowling action to have been thoroughly scrutinised around the world, by all umpire and referees. In addition he played county cricket last season, there was no mention of his bowling action then. I would urge Ajmal not to worry about anything and instead concentrate on bowling well in the remainder of the series," Saqlain was quoted as saying by PakPassion.net.
Saqlain said the doosra is an art.
"The doosra is an art, there is nothing untoward or illegal about the delivery. Instead there are a few technical things you have to look at when bowling the doosra. Flexibility is the key. You have to have flexible hands, you have to have a flexible wrist and fingers too. In addition you have to know which other body parts assist in the bowling of the doosra, for example your calf, your shoulder, your triceps and your back muscles are all key to bowling the doosra.
"When you bowl the Doosra then you feel a pull on different muscles as compared to the conventional off spin delivery. I think where some off spinners struggle with the doosra is that they don't know about using different muscles to bowl this delivery. You also have to lock your wrist when bowling the doosra and change the position of the fingers ever so slightly when delivering the doosra. If you make the changes too obvious then the batsmen are going to pick it out of your hand easily," he said.