Arthur: Amir fit for first Test against England

Mickey Arthur Mohammad Amir fit for 1st Test England Lord's Pakistan cricket

Mickey Arthur: “He’s perfect, 100 percent. He’s fine and ready to go”

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Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur has confirmed that left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir will be fit for the first Test against England at Lord’s on Thursday.

Amir was hampered by a “chronic” knee injury during the historic Test match against Ireland and had to leave the field.

However, while he did return and continue bowling, he did not feature in the recently concluded two-day warm-up game against Leicestershire.

“He’s perfect, 100 percent. He’s fine and ready to go,” Arthur was quoted as saying by Sport24. “It was his rotation. (Mohammad) Abbas sat out the first (tour) game, Hasan (Ali) sat out the second, so he sat out the third.”

With Amir set to be the spearhead of Pakistan’s pace attack, Arthur is backing him to inflict serious damage on England’s batting line-up, just like New Zealand left-armer Trent Boult did when he took figures of 6-32 in the day-night Test in Auckland in March.

“I think Mohammad Amir is the finest exponent of pace and swing when he gets it 100 percent right,” Arthur said. “We’ve used that spell that Trent Boult bowled in Auckland. We’ve had a look at his lengths.

“We believe he (Amir) bowls incredibly well at left-handers and there will be three left-handers (Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan) in the (England) top four.

“He’s ready, I just hope it goes really well for him because he’s been unlucky at times with the amount of dropped catches.

“He’s ready, he’s determined, he’s fit, he’s strong, he’s excited, he’s in a very good place at the moment.”

Arthur has coached South Africa and Pakistan in the past, but he made it clear that he has no intentions of leaving his current role in order to try and succeed Trevor Bayliss when he steps down as England’s head coach next year.

“No, I’m very happy,” he said. “I’d like to keep going with Pakistan for as long as they will have me because it’s unfinished business for us at the moment. This is a very young cricket team and I worry if we move on what happens to these guys.

“Their fitness regime is outstanding, they are training hard and they are enjoying their cricket. I’m very, very happy with where I am at the moment.”

While former cricketers and pundits have expressed their concerns about Pakistan’s inexperienced squad and whether they can get properly accustomed to the conditions in England, Arthur is confident that his side have what it takes to give England a run for their money at Lord’s.

“Of course we can,” Arthur was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “We haven’t come here not to win. It is a changing room full of very skilled cricketers. Young, fearless cricketers.

“Guys that don’t fear failure. They are intelligent, a skilful bunch of cricketers and if we get the breaks and things go our way we’ll certainly put England under pressure.”

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