The Prodigious Mohammad Amir

Written by  //  August 21, 2010  //  Sport  //  3 Comments

Watching Mohammad Amir bowl in Pakistan’s recent test series’ against Australia and England has been a supreme delight. So much so that it has evoked memories of the great Wasim Akram – an astonishing feat, for there have been few, if any, grander sights in cricket than Akram steaming in to release deliveries of vicious swing.

Boasting a vibrant run-up and a whippy high arm action, Amir, only 18 years of age, already possesses the ability to swing both the new and the old ball, in our out – a characteristic that set Akram apart from the rest. Yet, for all the precocity of his obvious talents, it is his ability to outfox batsmen, both by cleverly manipulating his use of the crease and by varying his line and length that stands out as a distinguishing feature.

Even if embroiled in a perennial state of turmoil, Pakistan, it appears can always take solace from the strength of its quick bowling department. In Amir and Mohammad Asif, it has perhaps the most proficient new ball pairing in world cricket. While, Asif – blessed with the supplest of wrists – relies on his guile and his consistency in line and length, Amir provides the more eye-catching entertainment with his prodigious ability to get nip off the pitch and to swing the ball at pace.

Owning the skill to manoeuvre the ball in whichever direction he pleases it to bend, Amir in his fledgling career has showcased irrefutable genius. Yesterday, he displayed a snippet of his class by turning the tide of his team’s third test match against England in its favour through a remarkable display of reverse-swing bowling that saw him amass four wickets for 51 runs, at the Oval. The delivery that dismissed Mathew Prior (caught behind nervously by Kamral Akmal) was, in particular, one to behold. The wicketkeeper – who had made a fine half-century in the first innings – was prised open, from around the wicket, with a ball that angled in, before veering away to take the outside edge of the bat.

Having, it seems, mastered the finer nuances of swing bowling at such a young age, one may argue that Amir’s success is all but assured. It must however, be remembered that there have been far too many instances where the most promising of youngsters have faded into oblivion. Bowling as majestically as Amir has done in England is unquestionably noteworthy, but it is essential that he carries this form and performs consistently in less helpful conditions to fulfil his rich promise.

This video offers a glimpse of Amir’s ability to reverse-swing the ball at pace.

3 Comments on "The Prodigious Mohammad Amir"

  1. Alok August 29, 2010 at 5:24 am ·

    Sums up my feelings perfectly.

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