Saqlain Mushtaq to assist England spinners during ODI series against India
Pakistan spin legend Saqlain Mushtaq has penned a contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to assist English spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali for the upcoming three-game One-Day International series versus India.
The 39-year-old has already started helping the pair from the Test series itself and the results have been fantastic too as Adil and Moeen are the top two wicket-takers on the English bowling charts.
Adil has impressed the most in the three Tests so far with three four-wicket hauls and Saqlain said coaching the pair has been quite a pleasant experience for him.
"The experience of coaching English players in India has been a pleasant one," Saqlain was quoted as by Express Tribune. "Adil and Moeen are eager to learn and that is why they are delivering improved performances. I hope they will improve further."
Rated as one of the best tweakers of modern day cricket, the former offspinner also helped his countryman Saeed Ajmal remodel his action after he was suspended from bowling in top flight cricket. However, he has not yet had the chance of working with Pakistan cricket in a major role.
Saqlain too says that he wants to give back as much as possible to his country when the time comes.
"I help spinners across the globe but my heart still beats for Pakistan," said Saqlain. "This country has given me a lot and I want to give all of it back. I am ready to offer my services to the Pakistan Cricket Board whenever they need me."
The spinning legend who invented the ‘doosra’ (the other one) had also earlier helped England after their 75-run loss at the hands of Pakistan in the opening game of the tour back in July this year.
Reports of Saqlain keen on helping out England spinners for the India series first surfaced in September when The Telegraph reported England were thinking of roping him in.
Just prior to that in July Moeen and Adil had the chance of interacting with Saqlain.
He didn’t say a lot technically, although there have been one or two tips I have worked on since. It was more about the mindset of bowling spin,” Moeen had said then. “He described it as a long journey on a boat and sometimes there will be stormy water – the equivalent of batsmen coming after you – but as soon as the storm is over, you need to refocus.”
With Saqlain taking up the job then, many critics had termed him as a traitor but the whole cricketing fraternity came out in support of the talismanic former offspinner.
The three-match series between India and England will start from January 15 in Pune, followed by matches on January 19 and 22 at Cuttack and Kolkata respectively.
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