Dr Paul Hurrion believes if the Pakistan off-spinner can cope with pressure, he can rise again on the world stage
Doctor Paul Hurrion, a biomechanical analyst who worked with off-spinner Saeed Ajmal to remodel his action, believes the Pakistani bowler can rise to his prime if he continues to work hard and ensure the repeatability of his action under pressure situations.
Hurrion, who is contracted to the UK Athletics, the International Cricket Council (ICC), England Cricket Board and British Diving, said that Ajmal’s new action has an average 7.5 degree bend of the elbow – half of the legal 15 degree limit set by the cricket’s world governing body.
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“Saeed has worked very hard during the off-season and during the recent English summer. During the indoor testing we had created a wonderful blueprint to work from for all his deliveries. This involved the speed of the ball through the air, different variations and the revolutions imparted on the ball. During the last unofficial test at Edgbaston, all his deliveries were under 10 degrees at an average of 7.5 degrees,” Hurrion told PakPassion in an interview.
“The main priority at the start of the season was to ensure that Saeed’s action remained legal for the remainder of his career. The world media and more importantly the ICC and ECB will be observing his action during matches around the world.
“The aim was to ensure the flex in Saeed’s action remained under ten degrees of extension at all times using all his variations. The goal was simple; never to come under suspicion again.”
Hurrion said it was important for Ajmal to keep up with the physical and technical drills given to him.
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“The journey has just started for Saeed, his new legal action will become more effective in the long term. However, under pressure, the first thing to change is always the last thing that was learnt! It is vital that Saeed keeps up with the physical and technical drills we have given him. The more instinctive this becomes, the easier it will be to bowl to a plan and to different batsmen,” explained Hurrion.
Hurrion said Saeed was ready to make a comeback to the Pakistan side if he was able to cope under pressure because the new action demanded him to bowl from the shoulder rather than the elbow.
“I firmly believe that if Saeed continues to work hard and gets used to bowling with the new action, he could become the world number one in all forms of cricket. However the new action has to be able to cope under pressure. The action is starting to feel more repeatable day by day, however the physical demands of the new action are greater for the shoulder, as this is required to impart the revolutions on the ball. As he becomes stronger, the revolutions will increase.”
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When asked if he can be the same lethal bowler again, Hurrion replied: “Yes, providing he continues his drills and physical conditioning. He needs to be more focused and prepare better for matches, along with playing on pitches that help spinners!
Hurrion was also said yes to the idea of visiting Pakistan and offered to provide his assistance to the bowlers with dubious actions.
“Of course, providing they have the desire to change and improve their actions. It takes hard work and the ability to overcome setbacks along the way.”
Moreover, he also gave some useful tips to the young bowlers who want to ascertain that their bowling action remains within the permitted angle.
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“Emerging/junior players should have a closer monitoring process on their actions throughout the age groups – this ultimately is down to coach education. Pakistani coaches need to have the key biomechanical points in which to develop spinners at a younger age legally and effectively. The later you leave it to change a bowler’s action, the harder it is to make the technical change.
“Saeed’s new remodeled action proves that given the time, dedication and correct biomechanics a bowler can change his action for the better. The key now is for the new action to hold up under the pressure of competition and deliver at the very highest stage once more.”