DUBAI: Pakistan’s left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman on Tuesday refused to accept that Pakistan’s success over world number one Test side England was a big surprise, saying the team achieved the 2-0 lead through sheer hard work.
Rehman starred in his team’s 72-run win in the second Test in Abu Dhabi by claiming a career-best 6-25 to bundle England for 72 in the second innings – their lowest in all Tests against Pakistan.
The win gave Pakistan an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-Test series with the last match in Dubai from February 3. Pakistan won the first Test by ten wickets, also played in Dubai.
Rehman, 31, said beating England was not a shock.
“No, it is not surprising. We have won because we have worked really hard before the series and in the two Test matches,” said Rehman, who has 12 wickets in two Tests while his spin partner Saeed Ajmal has 17.
Rehman, though, admitted England’s capitulation was a bit surprising.
“We had no idea that it would finish in three or four days, but since the team did well and the pitches helped us so we won,” said Rehman of the two Tests which finished in three and four days respectively.
Rehman said he has received brilliant support from Ajmal, who took ten wickets – including a career-best 7-55 – in the first Test.
“We don’t think like ‘he will get wicket and I will be left out,’ we support each other so much that there is no ill will in our hearts,” said Rehman.
“No matter which bowler gets the wickets, it is helpful for the team.”
The brilliant spinning show have raised both Ajmal and Rehman in the International Cricket Council rankings. Ajmal is second while Rehman has jumped to ninth – the first time in 23 years that two Pakistan spinners are in the top ten.
Rehman admitted he was proud of his rankings.
“It’s good, a very good feeling and now I am in top ten and it is after a long time that two Pakistani spinners have come in the rankings, so I am happy that I am among those bowlers who are world’s best,” said Rehman.
Rehman believed England batsmen flopped because of a better gameplan by Pakistan.
“What we are trying is to give them a tough time, contain them so that they make mistakes. That was the game-plan of the captain and the coach, so they made mistakes after getting fed up,” said Rehman, who now has 68 wickets in 14 Tests.