Rehman thrilled with spinner-friendly tracks
Pakistan's spinners picked up an unprecedented 32 of the 40 available wickets to square the two-Test series against West Indies, leaving left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman surprised by the amount of turn on offer at the two venues. Rehman was at the forefront of Pakistan's victory in the second Test at St Kitts, picking up 4 for 65 in the second innings as West Indies lost by 196 runs.
"We have been surprised by the bounce and the spin that we have gotten from the pitches," Rehman said after setting up Pakistan's win on the fourth evening. "This is why we are very happy. Spinners are happy when they get pitches that turn, but to also get the bounce is good, and [West Indies] have struggled against the spin and the bounce. It would not be a bad idea to dig up this pitch, and carry it around with me, so that I can get plenty of wickets."
Rehman bottled up one end through the series, while offspinners Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez made the breakthroughs. Ajmal was adjudged Man of the Series after helping himself to 17 wickets. Rehman indicated he was happy with his role within the attack, and was thankful to the team management for backing his skills.
"They have encouraged me to bowl the way I normally do - do not try to flight the ball too much, but try to bowl as containing [a line] as possible, and the wickets will come - and they did in this innings," Rehman said. "I was trying to flight the ball too much, and I was not as effective as I could be, but I resorted to my style of bowling, and I got some turn and bounce, and it worked for me."
Taufeeq Umar and Misbah-ul-Haq were the other architects of Pakistan's win, as they both struck centuries in the second innings. Their efforts were put into perspective by the fact that, prior to this game, Pakistan had produced only two Test tons since January 2010. Misbah and Taufeeq oversaw a strong batting revival after Pakistan had lost their way in the first innings, at one point stumbling to 194 for 9.
"It really has been a good comeback for us," Rehman said. "Our batting struggled on the first day, but this is the way cricket is played. Our coaches kept encouraging us, and giving us confidence, and they told us not to worry about what happened on the first day. They helped us, and they instructed us what to do, and then we had two hundreds from Taufeeq Umar and our captain in the second innings, and we did well to come back."