The mother of all clashes, the arch-rivalry, the blockbuster fixture between India and Pakistan is just hours away to take the centre stage and this high voltage encounter is rarely about individuals as the two teams always look ready to tear each other apart.
There have been some presence and absence of certain names but the team’s atmosphere is what matters the most. The two sides are full of natural talent and are ready to go in this much-hyped affair.
However, this time around, there is a spot of bother for the Pakistan Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed as one of his big match players isn’t paying dividends and not doing justice to his spot in the eleven. We are talking about the speedster Mohammad Amir who had a wicketless spell in the opening game of Asia Cup 2018 against Hong Kong.
The skipper expressed his concern over the form of one of his strike-bowler, he quoted, “I am concerned but I don’t think wickets itself are a reflection of performance. Take, for example, India pacer (Mohammad) Shami’s case in England. He bowled well but couldn’t get wickets. I have spoken to him (Aamir) and told him that he is our strike bowler and has to pick wickets too. Hope he does that tomorrow (Wednesday),”
It is never about individuals and especially when the opposition is very strong. Mohammad Amir who blazed away with the priced wicket of Virat Kohli in the Champions Trophy 2017 final is not in his rhythm at all.
Since his heroic bowling show at the Oval, he has been wayward which definitely doesn’t go with the potential he possesses. From that period (Since 2017), he has only managed to pick 21 wickets in 19 games and his average and strike rate during this phase has been the worst among all the Pakistani bowlers.
The question is big, Is Amir too big to be benched? This is one major concern for the skipper and team management, if benched, who should start in the eleven?
The answers lie within the impressive bench strength Pakistan produce in the bowling line-up. The likes of Junaid Khan who has been named in the Asia Cup after a long absence from the national side is a like-for-like swap. He also is a lanky left-arm pacer and the ideal replacement for Amir.
The management could bring in young sensation Shaheen Afridi into the ranks as well who is pipped as the next big thing in Pakistan Cricket. Coach Mickey Arthur is a big fan of this young sensation but throwing him in on such a challenging and high voltage encounter and expect him to deliver with what Amir cannot will not do justice to his potential.
Nonetheless, we will get to know if Amir is still preferred over Junaid Khan or Shaheen Afridi but one thing is for sure that India will have their task cut out against a strong Pakistan new ball line-up in the form of Faheem Ashraf, Usman Khan and the strike bowler Hassan Ali.