Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has admitted that he was highly impressed impressed with the way in which left-arm seamers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz bowled in the national team’s World Cup win over England on Monday.
Amir took figures of 2-67 off his 10 overs in the match, which Pakistan won by 14 runs, while Wahab finished with figures of 3-82 off his 10 overs.
Prior to the World Cup, Amir had only taken five wickets in 15 ODIs at an average of 92.60.
In fact, he initially failed to make the cut for the World Cup squad.
However, after he, Wahab and big-hitting batsman Asif Ali were included in the World Cup team at the expense of left-arm pace bowler Junaid Khan, opener Abid Ali and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf, Amir has repaid the faith invested in him as he currently sits atop the World Cup wicket-takers list with five wickets in two games at an average of 18.60.
Wahab was initially not included in the list of 23 probables for the World Cup, but was the third-highest wicket-taker in this year’s Pakistan Super League (PSL) with 17 wickets in 13 games for the Peshawar Zalmi at an average of 19.88.
But, in Pakistan’s two World Cup games against the West Indies and England, he has claimed three wickets at an average of 40.66.
“Wahab Riaz bowled with venom and kept the English batsmen under enormous pressure, while Amir also bowled brilliantly but remained unlucky as dropped catches denied him [from] taking more wickets,” Latif told The Nation. “Had Babar Azam not dropped (Joe) Root in the slips at his personal score of nine runs, things would have been different.
“Amir’s body language would have been more aggressive and he would have bent his back more, but the way he removed Buttler, soon after he completed [his] ton, it turned the match in Pakistan’s favour.”
Pakistan’s next World Cup match will be against Sri Lanka in Bristol on Friday.