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Ajmal wants a crack at Aussies

LAHORE - Pakistan's off-spinner Saeed Ajmal wants a crack at the Australians in the 2011 World Cup to avenge the thrashing he got at their hands in the ICC Twenty20 World Championships last year in the West Indies.

"I have forgotten the mauling I got at the hands of Mike Hussey because if I kept that in my mind I would never be able to play cricket. But I definitely want a shot at the Australians in this World Cup to even things," Ajmal said in Pallekele. Ajmal, who made a comeback to the Pakistan team for the match against Canada in the World Cup, has not played much cricket since last year with the team management preferring left arm spinner Abdul Rehman over him even in one-day contests.

But Ajmal is expected to get another chance when Pakistan play against Zimbabwe on Monday and then against Australia on March 19. "That day Hussey played an outstanding innings and it happens in cricket. One day the batsman is dominating and on another day, we are on top of the batsmen," Ajmal said.

"But while I want to prove to everyone that the mauling I got in that semifinal at St Lucia was a one off thing. I have not let that incident influence or over-ride my cricket. I am trying to play normal cricket to the best of my abilities," he said. Hussey scored an unbeaten 60 in the semifinal that was won by Australia by three wickets with Ajmal going for 18 runs in the final over.

Ajmal, who has played nine Tests, 36 ODIs and 29 Twenty20 internationals, said he was keen to make a comeback to the playing eleven. "Right now Abdul Rehman is playing because he is bowling well but if I get a chance I will do my best. I have worked hard on bowling in the final overs that is my specialty although it is a tough task for any bowler these days," he said.

But the Pakistani spinner had no doubt that his captain Shahid Afridi was bowling his best in the tournament and would emerge as the highest wicket-taker. "This World Cup, we have seen the spinners dominate the tournament so I am confident I will get another chance to play against the Australians.