LONDON: Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has admitted spearhead Mohammad Amir’s form has been a worry, but he remains confident the left-armer has all the attributes to bounce back ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The event will run from 30 May to 14 July in England and Wales, with Pakistan opening their campaign against the Windies at Trent Bridge on 31 May.
Amir, 26, has been struggling to take wickets, having taken just five wickets in 14 ODI matches since the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final in June.
He went for 59 runs in his nine wicket-less overs in the first ODI against Australia on Friday and was subsequently left out of the playing line-up for the second match two days later. “Yes, Amir’s form is a worry and nobody is more worried than Amir,” said Arthur. “I still think he is an incredibly skilled bowler and has all the attributes to be successful. He has got a big match temperament and we will see how we use him going forward.”
Arthur admitted recalled batsman Umar Akmal was getting better. “Discipline-wise, there is a change, definitely,” the coach replied when asked about Umar’s discipline. The middle-order batsman was withdrawn from the squad a week before the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 after failing a fitness test.
He has scored 49 and 16 in the two matches against Australia. “I can’t sit here and fault as the way he has come into the team. The way he has prepared, he has been very good. He has done a good job while being in this environment. He knows the standings are to be in this environment to be in contention for a berth going forward. I can’t fault his attitude.
The fitness has got better but has to work to do on fitness. The fitness test is on 14 April and to be eligible to go for World Cup, you need to pass that fitness test.”