On Mohammad Amir's birthday, let's take a recap of some of his jaw-dropping performances. The man who spots the right length on any surface and possesses the coveted ability to swing it both ways has produced some sizzling spells in his dramatic career.
Amir ups the ante against arch-rivals. He made early inroads by unleashing a sensational spell with the new ball in the blockbuster finale of ICC Champions Trophy 2017. While chasing a mammoth 339, Rohit Sharma got pinned lbw without troubling the scorers, Virat Kohli got a reprieve early-on but he couldn't feast on the error and his innings only lasted nine balls as he gingerly edged a jaffa on a nagging line to Shadab Khan at backward point.
Shikhar Dhawan tried to calm things down but he also lost the plot against charged up Amir and departed on 22. The contest was already done and dusted after Amir rip through the star-studded lineup. This was one of the rare moment when it looked like Amir truly redeemed himself after serving his ban and as always, fans pinned hopes to finally witness him getting to his top-form but it has never been the same Amir who burst onto the scenes emphatically however this performance surely cemented his spot in the side for a couple of years and the naysayers were silenced
Amir was taking the world by a storm with his sheer talent and the ability to bamboozle the batsmen with his mastery before getting embroiled in the spot-fixing saga that was brewing on the sidelines. He got the new cherry to move insanely and made England batsmen look meek. Alastair Cook, Eoin Morgan, Paul Collingwood, and Kevin Pietersen were his prized scalps as the 18-year-old got his name on the honours board by returning figures of 6/84. Everybody went gaga over Amir and compared him with the likes of Wasim Akram, who rated him above himself at that stage of his career.
Amir returned figures of 5/79 for a losing cause but grabbed the headlines by outfoxing mighty Australia batting line-up. Riding high on confidence and coming on the back of brilliant performance in the T20 World Cup in 2009, Amir was on top of his game. He created different angles and just didn't allow the batsmen to get set, snaring Ricky Ponting on a 147.4 clicks snorter and forcing a miscued pull shot. Michael Hussey aka Mr Cricket was rooted on his crease and Amir darted a brilliant in-dipper that rapped on his pads. Michael Clarke went too far wide across his stumps and the outside edge was drawn. There were yorkers, bouncers, prodigious reverse swing and all sorts of variations in his first-ever five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
After Pakistan bundled out on a paltry 83, the game was destined to head one way but Amir created massive panic in India ranks. The ball was moving like a tornado and Amir was fired up. He delivered a magnificent spell with the new ball and got Rohit Sharma lbw on a brute of a delivery in the first over of the innings and two deliveries later flummoxed Ajinkya Rahane on a peach. In the very next over, he induced an error from Suresh Raina and he was caught at mid-on. The crowd went berserk and Amir was in seventh heaven.
England folded on 222 largely due to a lethal combination of hostile bowling from Mohammad Amir and teasing off-spin from Saeed Ajmal. Amir got the better of Andrew Strauss in his first over of the second innings and got him poking with a sharp outswinger. The delivery that undid Matt Prior was simply outstanding; it pitched on a slightly shorter length from round the wicket angle and curled away just enough to take a faint tickle through to the keeper. He got the ball to reverse and took wickets in quick succession in his comeback spell with an old ball.