Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Legendary Pakistan left-arm seamer Wasim Akram has revealed that that fellow left-armer Mohammad Amir would have been his “first choice” for the World Cup.
Akram’s comments come after Amir was left out of Pakistan’s World Cup team when it was announced earlier this month.
Amir’s form in ODIs has been dismal since the conclusion of the Champions Trophy in June 2017 as he has taken five wickets in 14 matches at an average of 92.60.
However, he still has a chance of getting into the side as Pakistan are permitted to make changes to it without permission from the International Cricket Council (ICC) until May 23.
However, Amir will have to shine during the ODI series against England, which will run from May 8 to 19, if he wants to have a chance of claiming a spot in Pakistan’s finalised World Cup squad.
“We can’t discount Amir from the World Cup,” Wasim told AFP as quoted by cricket.com.au. “Amir would have been my first choice for the World Cup considering English conditions where he performs well.
“I am confident that he will do well once his rhythm is back.”
Pakistan have gone with a lot of young talent in their squad, but they do have a number of experienced players, including captain Sarfraz Ahmed, and all-rounders Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik.
Akram noted that major cricketing events are won when the youngsters and veterans work together as a cohesive unit.
“I am all for youth but experience has no substitute, so we should mix youth with experience,” Akram said. “He (Amir) is a good learner so I hope things will come good for him sooner than later because [the] Pakistan team needs him.”
This is not the first time Akram has come to Amir’s defence as in the past, he said the 27-year-old is “still one of the best bowlers” Pakistan has.
Akram has even backed Amir to become captain in the future.
Pakistan will kick off their World Cup campaign against the West Indies in Nottingham on May 31.