Former Pakistan all-rounder Yasir Arafat has said that left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir was justifiably given the player-of-the-series award in the recently concluded three-match T20I series where Pakistan beat New Zealand 2-1.
Amir returned figures of 0-13 in three overs, 2-28 in four overs and 1-23 in four overs against the Kiwis in the three T20Is, maintaining an economy rate of under seven, which helped Pakistan restrict the hosts, and Yasir believes 25-year-old’s uncanny ability to stop runs is his speciality which is going to improve further.
“While Amir did not perform that well in the ODIs, he was absolutely crucial to Pakistan’s victorious run in the T20Is on this tour,” said Arafat while talking to PakPassion. “I really feel that Amir’s performance in ODIs versus his outstanding effort in T20Is is simply a case of having good or bad days on the field. Also, Amir was used a little more cleverly and with good planning as in the third T20I he came in the third over instead of opening the bowling as he usually does.”
The 35-year-old added Amir isn’t suffering from any physical problems and is instead struggling with consistency.
“I do not believe Amir has any fitness or any other issues. What he needs to be is consistent in his performances, and I am confident that [Pakistan bowling coach] Azhar Mahmood will continue to work with him like he has with other bowlers and the results of that will be visible in Amir’s improved performances in the future. I think Amir will improve further as a bowler in the coming years.”
However, he also rued Amir’s disappearance from stage during the ODIs when Pakistan needed him to strike.
“For someone who amazed us all with his bowling performance in the Champions Trophy final, it is sad and disappointing that Amir could only take two wickets in the four games of the ODI series,” he said. “This is not the Amir we were expecting to see as it was expected that he would be able to make breakthroughs early in the innings, similar to how New Zealand’s Tim Southee and Trent Boult did in the ODIs.”