Mohammad Amir likely to play the finals with India
The pacer practised hard at the nets at Oval to get the cut for the big final.
Updated - Jun 16, 2017 10:30 pm
Pakistan had received a major dent in their bowling arsenal when they lost Mohammad Amir just ahead of the semi-final match against England due to back spasm. But the Pakistan camp can breathe a sigh of relief as Amir is likely to be match-fit for the dream final on Sunday at The Oval against arch-rivals India. Amir was replaced by the left-arm quick Rumman Raees in that encounter.
The left-arm pacer is the most potent bowling arm of Pakistan. His natural ability to swing the ball both ways can unsettle any in-form batsman. Amir was at his devastating best against India when he castled the opening pair of India during the Asia Cup in 2016. They have thus felt that his absence in the final against India would be a huge blow to the team.
Amir practices hard
Amir went through a rigorous practice session at The Oval under the watchful eyes of Azhar Mahmood. He ran down the pitch at full throttle and hit the deck hard to check his rhythm with the ball. He was keen to prove his match fitness as he doesn’t want to miss the final. Though Pakistan have found an able replacement in debutant Rumman Raees who scalped 2/44 in his quota of nine overs, he can feel the nerves of a big final against India.
Pakistan’s quicks dealt a fair challenge to England’s impenetrable batting line-up by bundling them out for a mere 211. Apart from Raees, Hasan Ali also troubled the English batsmen ending with figures of 3/35. England failed to keep with the swing and lost their wickets cheaply, thus conjuring a mighty collapse.
Pakistan can take heart from the fact that they have the required bench strength to cope up with injuries. Players like Rumman stepped up on the day of a big semi-final and achieved favourable results for the team. It is a fact that Amir did not have a good run in the Champions Trophy, collecting poor figures of 2/135 from the three matches he played. But his mere presence can be a catalyst for the team.
Pakistan is in a conundrum at the moment regarding the total fitness of Amir. Also if Amir comes out fit and Pakistan wants to keep Rumman Raees in the playing XI in favour of a pace battery, they will have to sacrifice their spinner, Shadab Khan. Captain Sarfraz Ahmed and coach Mickey Arthur will have to weigh the pros and cons and scratch their heads to come out with a winning combination.