Pakistan’s seamer Sohail Khan attributed extra hard while not playing in the series for his excellent return to Test cricket at Edgbaston, taking 5-96 to help Pakistan wrap up England for 297.
The 32-year-old destroyed the top order with wickets of Alex Hales, Joe Root, James Vince and Jonny Bairstow before wrapping up the innings with the wicket of James Anderson.
That effort, his maiden five-for in his third Test, not only justified his selection over an established Wahab Riaz but also helped Pakistan take the initiative after winning the toss and deciding to bat.
“It’s my Almighty Allah and I prayed from him to give me success,” said Sohail.
“I was out from the last two Tests but I was not sitting idly, in fact I was doing more than what trainer asked me. Mushtaq Ahmed (bowling coach) told me about the ball which is different from what we use in Pakistan. We are used to of Kokkaburra and here we are using the Duke ball.”
Sohail said he watched England spearhead James Anderson’s vidoes as to how get wickets in England.
“When I came here after I was named in the squad I watched Anderson’s videos,” revealed Sohail. “He bowls at 80mph but gets eight to ten wickets every match. So I wanted to know how he gets his wickets.”
“I will watch a bowler because I am a bowler and our actions are not similar but I watched him and noticed that he doesn’t try to bowl very fast. Mushy also told me that don’t bowl fast so if you give air to the ball it will swing.”
Sohail said he was unlucky not to have played more than two Tests – first at Karachi in 2009 (against Sri Lanka) and the second in 2011 in Zimbabwe.
“I had played two Tests before and I was bowling inswing mostly. I tried to bowl fast. I can still bowl fast but then I met various coaches and they told me to bowl as per conditions.
“I couldn’t bowl well in my first Test in Karachi and some catches were also dropped off my bowling. I got my next chance in 2011 there too I didn’t do well. Now I have got another chance which I will not let go.”
Sohail made a comeback in 2015 World Cup and took five-for against arch-rivals India but fell injured again.
“Injury is part and parcel of every sport. It’s tough to come back after an injury but I never stopped, I never fell and whatever injury I had I tried to overcome that because I don’t know anything else other than playing cricket.”
Sohail did push-ups after taking five wickets but said he was very much part of the press-ups after Pakistan won the first test at Lord’s.
“I was in front of the push-ups at Lord’s. I was not playing so I was wearing red shirt. I did push ups alone to show my fitness.”