Rashid toiled on his Test bow as Pakistan reached a huge 523-8 declared on the most docile of pitches at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in the first Test in Abu Dhabi.
The 27-year-old was left nursing the world’s all-time worst figures of 0-163 on Test debut, surpassing fellow leg-spinner Bryce McGain’s 0-149 for Australia against South Africa six years ago.
But Gillespie believes that Rashid has the steely determination to succeed, with his figures unrepresentative of his bowling acumen, given a super-slow surface which has offered precious little for particularly spinners.
Rashid and Moeen Ali failed to take a wicket between them and produced combined figures of 0-297 on a risible surface which has drawn criticism from countless cricketing pundits.
Gillespie said: “Rash is not an outlandish type of character and certainly not like a Graeme Swann type character. But do not let that mask his fierce determination to succeed. He’s a fantastic guy and team man.
“He is his own person and gives himself a great chance by working incredibly hard at his game. He is learning all the time and is only going to get better.
“It’s a tough assignment against Pakistan in the UAE and they are very good players of spin when surfaces are slow.”