England’s Duckett refuses to label Pakistan’s Abrar Ahmed a mystery spinner

England opener Ben Duckett has dismissed the tag of Pakistan’s Abrar Ahmed being a mystery spinner, saying his side will come back strongly in the second innings of the second Test currently underway here.

Abrar stunned the cricketing world on his Test debut, registering stunning figures of 7/114 in 22 overs and helping Pakistan bowl England out for 281 on Day 1. His performance was the third-best haul in an innings by a Pakistan bowler in their first Test, according to ICC.

Duckett, who scored a 49-ball 63, was one of Abrar’s victims but refused to label the debutant as a mystery spinner.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Duckett said, “I can only talk individually and I obviously had my plans for him. He was basically a leg-spinner who had a good googly; there was no real mystery to it.”

Duckett praised the spinner but issued a warning that England will go even harder at him in the second innings. “He bowled beautifully today and I’m sure we’ll have our plans in the second innings – but I’m pretty sure that we won’t be blocking it.”

Duckett also claimed that most of the England batters picked up Abrar’s subtle variations but the spinner bowled nicely on the day. “I think I swept about 90 per cent (of the time) and when you’re sweeping, you don’t tend to necessarily look for it, but his googly was a lot slower.

“In general, most of the guys actually said they did pick him. I think he just bowled some nice deliveries and unfortunately for us, it was his day,” Duckett concluded.

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