India v Pakistan: For Mohammad Amir, one spell does not a summer make

Mohammad Amir removed India openers Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane in his very first over.

By: Express News Service | Mirpur | Updated: February 28, 2016 6:05 pm
Mohammad Amir finished with figures of 3 for 18.(Source:AP) Mohammad Amir finished with figures of 3/18.(Source:AP)

At Eden Park in Auckland last month, Mohammad Amir was booed as he returned to international cricket after five years. On Saturday, at Sher-e-Bangla stadium here, the Pakistan fast bowler was serenaded with ‘Amir-Amir’ chants. It was not quite the redemption after the spot-fixing punishment. But the 23-year-old deserved the accolades.

It was a fantastic spell of fast bowling. Defending a small total, Shahid Afridi bowled Amir through and the 23-year-old justified his captain’s faith.

READ: Mohammad Amir is a world class bowler, says Virat Kohli

In the end, it didn’t prove to be enough as Virat Kohli stood tall and guided India home. But Amir, too, was spoken about a lot after the match. What a pity that a bowler of his ability missed international cricket because of his own failings.

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis agreed. “Yes, it was his own fault (and) one shouldn’t cry on that. But he is definitely world-class . He is coming back and coming stronger and stronger. He is getting better and better. He is going to be an asset for Pakistan in the next few years,” he said.

WATCH: Kohli, Pandya star in India’s five-wicket win (App users click here)

MS Dhoni, too, was full of praise. “Amir is one bowler who bowls that fuller length. (Mohammad) Sami is another one. Other than them, the other two fast bowlers don’t bowl too full and don’t swing it too much. So I felt that that the opening spell was very crucial for us. It was the most difficult. In T20s, you are only allowed four overs. So the captain is also under pressure to decide whether to bowl him out or keep him for later.”

India-Pakistan contests always come with a touch of added emotion. Good performance in this game can help people forget a lot of things. As former Pakistan bowling coach had said the other day that Amir has to win back the trust of his team mates. through his performance. Today he put a big step in that direction.

Spell check

On a green top at Mirpur, the 23-year-old came up with a breathtaking four-over burst, which had two key tenets: Old-fashioned swing, and raw pace. This was enough to humble India’s famed top-order. Here is a synopsis of Amir’s incredible four overs.

First over: Amir begins by bowling a sharp toe-crushing yorker that darts back into to hit Rohit on his toe on the front foot. Amir appeals, Rohit survives, only just. He then follows it up with another quick delivery, hurled at over 140kmph. This was little back off a length, but it curls back in prodigiously to crash into Rohit’s pads. The umpire gives him out. After two outstanding deliveries, Amir bowls one wide outside Kohli’s off-stump, inviting him to go for the drive. Kohli, gets an outside edge. He then nails Rahane with another vicious inswinger, bowled at 148kmph. In the fifth bowl, he gets one to slant off the seam. Just enough to let Suresh Raina play an ugly poke.

Second over: In his second over, Amir mixed his lengths cleverly and notched his pace up by a couple of yards, to keep both Raina and Kohli guessing. He started off with a fast good length delivery, which Raina gets an inside edge to get off strike. Two balls later, Raina gets another good length delivery, which slants off the seam. An indecisive Raina shuffles in his crease, and in an attempt to flick it to the on-side scoops a catch to mid-on. Pace, and prodigious movement does the trick for Amir.

Third Over: By now, Amir was bowling at full tilt, hitting close to 150kmph mark with ridiculous ease. Up against Kohli, he tweaked his plan a bit.

The sharp late inswingers, which he used to dismiss Rohit and Rahane were banished. Instead, he now began to angle it across the right-hander, drawing a tentative Kohli forward.

Fourth over: Amir is still sharp, but in an attempt to angle it across, he gets a bit of tap from Kohli in his final over. He finishes with figures of 4-0-18-3.

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First Published on: February 28, 2016 1:16 am
  1. S
    S u
    Feb 28, 2016 at 8:37 am
    My favourite, my lndia,
    1. B
      Feb 27, 2016 at 11:50 pm
      stan is big hooplah, nothing much. Their performance especialy bowlers are only against India. Indian bowlings are mediocre and dodgy, just kept for purpose, no real threats to opposition
      1. A
        Abdul Aziz
        Feb 28, 2016 at 6:02 am
        Good for Indian Sub Continent to have such a world cl and furious quick blower like Mohammad Amir....Delight to see Virat Kholi calmness and Technique with Amir Ferocity and length bowl... Excellent game of cricket when Ino-Pak play
        1. M
          Feb 27, 2016 at 11:42 pm
          ...and he is corrupt too.
          1. M
            Feb 28, 2016 at 11:55 am
            Its been a while any fast bowler dominated in T20. There are 2 revelations with Amir bowling yesterday. It exposed how poor some batsman against quality bowling and other is How amazing quality player is Kohli. It really show how Kohli stand out from the herd. A true hero.
            1. S
              sanjeev kumar
              Feb 27, 2016 at 8:37 pm
              he wanted to prove a point and pak bowler's points against india count big for them I am sure indians will sort him out soon
              1. S
                Feb 27, 2016 at 9:30 pm
                Well led but have you read the press reports - India " survived " Amir to beat stan !! so much of journalistic arrogance and haughtiness. Even in defeat, they try to prop something that was lost.
                1. S
                  Feb 27, 2016 at 8:59 pm
                  India has pace bowlers too. India needs to unleash them on the world.
                  1. S
                    Feb 28, 2016 at 1:31 am
                    See the arrogance of BCCI , Amir served his sentence and was taken into the team whilst the Indian players like sreekant and others without being convicted by the Courts are sidelined by BCCI. Is BCCI bigger than Cricket and Judiciary!!!!
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