Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood said on Friday that Mohammad Amir is fit for selection for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final against India. But, he also did not categorically state whether the pacer would be picked or not and said that the team management is yet to come to a decision whether to play Amir or not.
“Amir bowled today (at the nets). Amir is fit. We have not decided about (playing him),” Mahmood said according to PTI. The pacer has been integral to Pakistan’s remarkable run in the tournament. He went wicketless in their first two matches against India and South Africa. Aamir then picked two wickets and scored a valuable unbeaten 28 in Pakistan’s dramatic win over Sri Lanka. He then pulled out of their semi-final clash against England due to back spasms.
“When you go to a final, you want your experienced player, you want him to be fully fit and participating on that particular day,” said Mahmood, “But (we have told him) if he has any doubt he should let us know. At the moment he bowled today. He is fine. Yeah, definitely you would go with Amir, but we don’t mind if Amir can’t play. If he is not fit, then we have to move on.”
Pakistan are not bereft of options to replace Aamir. Rumman Raees had played in his place and took two wickets, the first of which was that of opener Alex Hales. “We have the bench strength. Last match, when Amir was not there, people were worried about our main strike bowler not playing. But the way Rumman Raees came in and bowled, it showed we have the bench strength,” said Mahmood, “We have guys who have such skill and such an ability that they can perform on any stage. It is just a matter of self-belief and confidence. I think anyone can replace anyone.”