CHENNAI - Saeed Ajmal was in a confident mood after undergoing tests for his remodelled bowling action at the ICC-accredited bio-mechanical laboratory at the Sri Ramachandra Sports Medicine centre here on Saturday.

In a conversation with The Hindu, the 37-old said: “I felt those who tested me were happy with my action. I am hopeful, but ultimately the decision rests with them.”

The off-spinning spearhead who had 178 wickets in just 35 Tests and 183 scalps in 111 ODIs was banned from bowling in international cricket last September after all his deliveries were found to be exceeding the 15 degrees flexion rule. Revealing the nature his tests here, Ajmal said: “I bowled 30 deliveries. And I bowled five different kinds of balls six times each. I bowled the doosra, the carrom ball, the off-spinner, seam-up and the quicker one.”

The Pakistani bowler said he believed he was now bowling the doosra with a clean action. “If I had just wanted to bowl the off-spinner, I could have got my action cleared in two weeks. But I want to retain my variety. I think my doosra is within permissible limits now,” he said. “If they are not happy with my doosra, then I feel I can still bowl effectively with my off-spinner and other deliveries.”

On the changes in his technique, Ajmal said: “Previously my arm used to come from behind my body. Now it is coming from the side. My front foot used to be in the air at delivery stride. Now it is on the ground. Earlier, I looked upwards while releasing the ball. Now I look at the batsman with a straight head. My action was chest on before. Now it is more side-on and I am pivoting a little.”

The Pakistani said he wanted to play a major role for his side on return. “I want to be a frontline bowler, the No.1 bowler in the side. I don’t want to make up numbers. I would rather retire than do that,” he said.

Ajmal said off-spin great Saqlain Mushtaq had lifted his spirits when he was down. “You see, my action was judged to be well over 40 degrees. Saqlain bhai told me there was no use being depressed. He inspired me to pick myself up. I have bowled around 12,000 deliveries with my new action in the last four months,” he said.

Ajmal picked New Zealand as the favourite for the ODI World Cup. “They have all bases covered: batting, pace, spin, all-rounders. They are the best all-round side in the tournament,” he said.

He said his dream was to figure in an India-Pakistan Test. “India meeting Pakistan is like Australia taking on England. Everyone wants to see the two teams play. Hope this happens soon.”