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Bringing Mohammad Amir back is a positive move, says Waqar Younis
Pakistan News

Bringing Mohammad Amir back is a positive move, says Waqar Younis

Waqar Younis believes Mohammad Amir's return to the national side is a positive development and will create competition among the squad members for the pace bowling slots.

Waqar, Pakistan's incumbent bowling coach, highlighted Amir's importance to Pakistan's white-ball set-up, remarking that the experienced seamer continues to feature in their plans for the now-postponed T20 World Cup.

Amir had initially made himself unavailable for the England tour in order to spend time with his wife, who was due to give birth to their second child.

Following the birth of his daughter last week, Amir has been called up by the selectors for next month's T20I series against England given fellow speedster Haris Rauf's repeated coronavirus-positive tests.

Rauf has thus been dropped to make way for Amir in the side as the left-arm paceman is expected to fly to England once he tests negative for coronavirus twice.

“Amir remains a part of our plans for the future as he is experienced," Waqar told reporters in a virtual press conference.

"We want to utilise him if he is up to the mark and can win matches for Pakistan. Next year we have the World Cup,” he was quoted as saying by PTI [Press Trust of India].

Waqar also recalled the disappointment he felt alongside head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq when Amir announced his Test retirement last year.

Amir bowed out of the longer version of the game citing workload management issues forcing Pakistan to pick a bunch of young quicks for the Australia tour that did not pan out in their favour. Later, Amir's name was omitted from the list of centrally contracted cricketers over his preference for the white-ball formats.

Waqar declared that the controversy regarding Amir's absence from the Test side was a past occurrence and hoped to focus on the present.

“It hurt at that time when he decided to retire from Test cricket but we have to move on and do what is best for the country,” he said.

“We were not happy but bringing him back I think is a positive move. The young bowlers will learn from him. We are clear in our mind no bowler is indispensable for the team.

“But I think his presence will help in the competition among the pace bowlers in the training camp in England."

The decision to rope in Amir at this stage has met with criticism from a few with Waqar shunning these doubts and backing the step.

“We called Amir because he is a part of our white-ball cricket plans. And we felt this was the ideal opportunity to assess all our bowlers going forward. It is not about this series but also about future commitments including the World Cups coming up,” Waqar stated.

“We want to see how he is bowling as we want to get a fair idea of which bowlers to take forward and assess them all,” he added.

Meanwhile, Waqar played down suggestions that fast bowlers found it tough to maintain high standards for all forms of the game.

“I just look at this way if a bowler is fit, strong and loves taking wickets. He can play all the time. But I guess this is an individual decision,” he opined.

The legendary bowler was also keen to comment on the possibility of fielding two spinners in Pakistan's prospective playing XI against England depending on the nature of the surfaces.

He claimed all such tactics will be decided once the England-West Indies Test series reaches its conclusion.

“We will see how the pitch behaves in the third Test between West Indies and England at Manchester but there is no doubt that the behaviour of pitches has changed in England."

“Early to say who will play but we have got an idea after the West Indies Test matches. We are trying to prepare those players who can be effective on such pitches.

"We are looking at all options and are looking at weather as well since it gets hot in August and we might even have to think about playing two spinners as well," he intimated.

The first Test between Pakistan and England will begin on August 5 with the T20I series set to commence over three weeks later.