When the squad for Pakistan’s tour of New Zealand was announced and Mohammad Amir’s name was inducted to it, many senior players including his current team mate Mohammad Hafeez threatened to boycott the camp which was organized before their departure for the tour.
So much was the pressure on him that he had to ask an apology from the senior players and he was literally in tears making a comeback to the national team.
Coming into the Asia Cup in Bangladesh, he was expected to do justice to the selectors for giving him another life to play cricket after he served his sentence in jail for a match fixing scandal for 5 years and the world cricket almost forgot Mohammad Amir’s name and existence.
As it turned out, his big comeback match was a match against arch nemesis India and that too the first of their Asia Cup campaign. By the grandeur and occasion, nothing beats the pressure of an India Pakistan contest and Mohammad Amir found himself in the middle of it all.
After their batsmen faltered big time scoring just 83, captain called Mohammad Amir to bowl the first over of the as Pakistan started their defence of 83. Wicket of the second ball and another in the next three deliveries, Amir found himself in the pick of the action as he gave the Indian team a body blow in his first over. The team was so accustomed to getting good starts from their openers that losing two wickets in the first over almost seemed unreal and surreal.
By the time, India made a move towards the chase, the scorecard did the reading as 3 for 8 and all the three wickets were taken by Pakistan’s prodigal son. Pitch perfect line and length he gave a hard time to all the Indian batsmen and team India was in a spot of bother for sure. The contest then between Virat Kohli and Amir was the highlight of the match as he never backed out from the challenge of bowling to Kohli.
As Kohli also said in the post match presentation “I would like to compliment Mohammad Amir for his spell. I actually congratulated him while I was batting. I was so happy to play that kind of a spell. He’s a world-class bowler. Hats off to the way he bowled and God bless him with more success”, showed the kind of respect that he had for him as a bowler and an acceptance of the fact that he did give him a hard time in the middle.
MS Dhoni also came out praising Amir during his interaction with Rameez Raja in the post match presentation. “You have to give credit to Amir. I think he bowled really well. The length was crucial. For a left-armer, he could bowl slightly more up and that was the length. It becomes very tricky. You want to cover the swing. If you move too much in, there are chances of LBW and if you’re not covering the line then there are chances of (getting) caught behind, caught at slips also. I feel he used the condition really well. It was very good bowling, especially the first three overs, he was right on the mark”, said Dhoni.
That the likes of MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli praising the efforts of this youngster, does speak a lot about the ability he possess as a bowler. Only if Pakistan had a little more runs to play with, the result of the match could well have been different especially after that opening burst from Amir.
Getting a lot of accolades since he has made a comeback to the national team, Mohammad Amir could well write an altogether different script for Pakistan cricket, in his life’s second innings.
By Anshuman Roy