Amir eyes golden memory as Pakistan look to finish off England
London: Mohammad Amir claims bowling Pakistan to a Test series win in England would be “the best memory” of his life.
Fired-up Amir was a key figure in Pakistan’s nine-wicket win over England in the first Test at Lord’s.
The 26-year-old pace bowler took five wickets in a triumph that put Pakistan on course for a series victory.
The second Test of the two-match series begins at Headingley on Friday and Amir has his sights set on completing a success that would rank as the finest achievement of his career.
“It’s a big achievement winning in Test cricket in England against England at home,” he said on Wednesday.
“If we win the series I think it will be the best memory of my life.”
Amir was delighted with Pakistan’s dominant display at Lord’s but he expects England’s wounded pride will ensure the hosts push them much harder in Leeds.
“Winning games at Lord’s — the home of cricket — it is very hard to win (in England). We did well at Lord’s, but it’s passed now,” he said.
“Everybody knows England are a very good side — I think one of the best sides in Test cricket — and they will come harder at us here. But we are ready for that challenge.”
Mohammad Abbas was Pakistan’s most potent seamer at Lord’s, with eight wickets, while Hasan Ali took four in the first innings.
Amir believes they all have Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood to thank for the damage they caused to England’s creaky batting line-up.
“Credit goes to all the bowlers, especially Mohammad Abbas. He’s bowling very well and Hasan Ali,” Amir said.
“But credit goes to Azhar Mahmood as well. He’s working hard with us and keeps telling us, ‘Pitch the ball up, pitch the ball up’. I think that was the main difference at Lord’s.
“We are looking for the same here, and I always give the credit to Azhar Mahmood because he is working so hard – and he is the man behind this.”
Salahuddin slated to replace injured Babar Azam in second Test
London: Middle-order batsman Usman Salahuddin is set to replace injured Babar Azam for the second Test between England and Pakistan starting on June 1 at Leed’s.
The 27-year old Salahuddin, who has made two ODI appearances for Pakistan in the past, was named in the squad for England tour after an impressive stint in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. He averages 46.53 in the 99 first-class matches he has played.
Salahuddin also scored 69 in Pakistan’s warm-up match against Leicestershire, and is now eyeing his Test debut at Leed’s.
Azam was ruled out of the remainder of the Test series against England after his medical scans at the end of day two of Lord’s Test revealed a fracture on his left forearm.
According to team physiotherapist Cliffe Deacon, the batsman sustained a fracture just above the wrist — one of the two bones in the forearm called the ulna.
He is expected to be out of action for at least four to six weeks.
Pakistan head into the second Test 1-0 up, after beating England by nine wickets in the first Test.