Abdur Rehman has broken into the top 10 for the first time in his career in the ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers which were released by the International Cricket Council on Sunday after the conclusion of the Abu Dhabi, Adelaide and Napier Tests. Saeed followed up his 10-97 in the Dubai Test with seven for 130 in the Abu Dhabi Test which was enough to put him ahead of England’s fast bowler James Anderson in second position. The 34-year-old has earned 50 ratings points for this achievement giving him a career-best rating, and he now leads Anderson by 25 ratings points but still trails number-one ranked Dale Steyn of South Africa by 84 ratings points.
Left-arm spinner Rehman, who had figures of two for 67 and six for 25 to win the man of the match award, has jumped five places to ninth spot. The 31-year-old from Sialkot had also gained five places in the bowlers’ rankings after his match figures of four for 89 in the Dubai Test. This is after 23 years year that two Pakistan spinners figure inside the top 10 of the Test player rankings. In September 1988, Abdul Qadir was ranked fifth and Iqbal Qasim 10th, along with Imran Khan (third), Wasim Akram (eighth) and Tauseef Ahmed (13th). The very fact that Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez are currently the two top-ranked ODI bowlers means this is undoubtedly one of the finest periods for Pakistan spinners in the history of the game.
Born March 1, 1980, Sialkot, Punjab
Current age 31 years 335 days
Major teams Pakistan, Gujranwala Cricket Association, Habib Bank Limited, Sialkot, Sialkot Stallions.
Abdur Rehman made his debut for Pakistan during the ODI home series against West Indies at the ripe old age of 26 (old considering the subcontinent's trait of ruthlessly exposing youth to the world's best). Not a huge turner of the cricket ball, his accuracy and consistency, as well as exploiting the rough marks, does it for him not only at the domestic circuit but at the elite level as well.
Rehman's rise to fame goes way back to 1999 when he grabbed a five-for and a six-wicket haul in successive matches while representing Pakistan Under-19 against South Africa in 1999. He was picked for the side even though he only had a brace of first-class outings. His performance in domestic competitions have been notable, especially during the 2006-07 season where he ended up as the highest wicket-taker in the Pentangular Cup including an 11-wicket haul for champions Habib Bank Limited in the penultimate match of the season.
In the early years, Rehman's opportunities on the international circuit were limited, partly because of the abundance of spinners in the line-up, and partly because he was believed to lack the artillery to cause major concern to batsmen in Test matches. Rehman's Test debut was an auspicious one - he took eight wickets at home against South Africa in 2007 - but played only one more Test before being dropped for three years. Upon his return in 2010, he carved a more permanent place for himself as Pakistan opted for a twin-spin attack in Tests. He showed that he deserved a place too, reaching the 50-wicket mark in only his 11th Test.