Ajmal first made his mark in international cricket in ODIs. He was called up for the 2008 Asia Cup, and soon after he had the Australians completely bewildered in the ODI series in the UAE; he gave away few runs and his doosra was almost unreadable. The ICC called him for his action, though it was cleared soon after. The pressure didn't get to him and immediately after, he played a crucial role in Pakistan's drive to the 2009 World Twenty20 title, regularly bottling up the middle overs with Shahid Afridi. He ended the joint second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament, with an exemplary economy rate as batsmen around the world struggled to get a read on his bag of tricks.