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Amir available for selection against West Indies, confirms Sarfaraz

Mohammad Amir is fit and available for selection for Pakistan's World Cup opener against the West Indies on Friday, captain Sarfaraz Ahmed said in a press conference.

There was speculation that the 27-year-old, who had to miss out the last four matches of the recent ODI series against England due to chickenpox, might not be fit for his debut at Trent Bridge.

"Amir is fully fit and available for selection for tomorrow's game," Sarfaraz said.

Amir, who had to miss out the 2011 and 2015 World Cups due to a five-year ban for spot-fixing, was seen bowling in full throttle in the team's practice session ahead of the match.

Preview: Pakistan seek to end their ODI rut against West Indies

Sarfaraz said he hoped his side could forget about the recent 10 match losing streak.

"Yes, we have lost 10 matches but we have to forget that and start the World Cup journey," he said.

When asked if the short boundaries and a flat pitch at Nottingham worried him, Sarfaraz said: "When we came here on the first day and asked the groundsman what is the par score he told us that it's 480."

‘Cricket has changed’

World’s top-ranked ODI side England have scored 400-plus twice at this ground, 444-3 against Pakistan in 2016 and a world record of 481-6 against Australia in 2018.

"Cricket has changed. People used to think that 300 was a par score but it has changed. We will have different pitches in the World Cup so if a team scores 300-plus then the other team will also go for that," he said.

Sarfaraz said both Pakistan and the West Indies were unpredictable and that would scare other sides.

Also Read: Resurgent West Indies eager to make mark in World Cup

"It's good to be unpredictable so all teams are scared of you. Yes, we are unpredictable and we will take that tag, so are the West Indies," said the skipper.

With Pakistan set to face West Indies’ powerful packed batting including Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope and Andre Russell, Sarfaraz said taking wickets will be the key.

"If you want to contain any team you have to take wickets whoever you play, so it's important to put pressure by taking wickets."