Worcestershire’s off-spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali is working on perfecting the doosra and is ready to unveil it in competitive cricket this season.
Ali has worked closely with Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, who used the doosra to devastating effect in the recent Test series against England, but is still working on the delivery in the nets.
Ajmal encouraged Ali to experiment with the doosra last season during his short stint as Worcestershire’s overseas player and the pair have kept in touch throughout the winter.
Ali worked on his doosra during his stint playing first-class cricket for the Moors club in Sri Lanka earlier this year and is now working with Worcestershire’s new part-time spin bowling coach Norman Gifford.
“Moeen started it seriously last summer when Saeed started helping him with it. It takes a lot of perfecting. You see Saeed bowling it and it looks so fantastic and easy but it’s actually really difficult to master so he’s having to do a lot of work on it,” said Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes.
“He is doing that work, he’s carried it on this winter, it’s not an overnight thing and we will hopefully see it in the summer.
“Having spoken to Saeed he knows how long it will take to perfect such an art, so he’s been working on it while he’s been away with the England Lions.
“He’s getting more and more confident. We had a match situation in practice on Monday and I got him to bowl it and he landed two of them really well.”
Ali’s ‘doosra’ is still easy to pick for batsmen but Rhodes expects him to unleash his new secret weapon at some stage during the season.
“It’s not too difficult to pick at the moment but he’s learning a few tricks and he’s got other things up his sleeve,” Rhodes said.
“The way he bowls it is legal. It’s a work in progress but I would expect Moeen to bowl the doosra in competitive cricket at some point this season. When he bowls it is a question for him.”