England v Pakistan, 3rd npower Test, The Oval August 22, 2010

'I don't let pressure affect me' - Amir

Cricinfo staff
Mohammad Amir believes pressure is something that an individual creates for himself and can be avoided

Pakistan's remarkable young fast bowler, Mohammad Amir, sliced through England's second innings in the third Test at The Oval to set up an unexpected win for a Pakistan team that was clearly struggling for confidence going into the match. He showed composure with the bat too, pulling Graeme Swann to the midwicket fence to relieve the growing tension after England had taken three quick wickets to make a small target look much bigger than it was.

Amir has now taken 13 wickets at an average just over 20 apiece in three Tests against England. Add the two Tests against Australia and he has 24 wickets at 21.27. Pressure, it appears, means little to this 18-year-old.

"I don't really let pressure affect me at all," Amir told PakPassion.net after his Man-of-the-Match performance at The Oval. "I believe that pressure is something that an individual creates for himself and it's something that you can avoid. I guess it's just down to the individual and the characteristics of an individual. I just go out there, relax, smile, enjoy myself, play my natural game, do what comes naturally to me and play my cricket according to the conditions and match situation.

"The more you worry about things when you are out there in the middle, the more problems you are going to encounter".

The win over an England side that has been in great form this year has naturally given Pakistan a huge boost of confidence, and some much-needed momentum, heading into the fourth and final Test. "It's great to be going into the final match at Lord's with some momentum," Amir said. "It was such an important victory for us and keeps us in the series. We'll be going all out for victory at Lord's."

Amir's new-ball partnership with Mohammad Asif is rapidly developing into one of the best in the world, if not the best, and Amir was quick to praise his fellow opening bowler. "He's a fantastic guy to bowl in tandem with. He's such a threatening bowler, a wicket-taker, someone who has the ability to take a wicket with every delivery. He never gives the opposition batsmen any respite and is such a brilliant team player who will bowl according to any situation, or in such a way that the team requires him to bowl.

"He's so accurate and rarely gives the batsmen any easy opportunities to score off him. His nagging accuracy and skill really helps me and I think we complement each other very well."

Having rattled both Australia's and England's batsmen during the MCC's Spirit of Cricket Series, Amir said Australia are marginally ahead of England in the batting department.

"The Australian batting line-up is a really powerful one and I would say marginally stronger than England's batting line-up when we are comparing them on all types of pitches and conditions. That is not meant in a disrespectful way towards the England team, but it's just that the Australian line-up is such a renowned, powerful and experienced line-up. The England batting line-up though is really powerful in home conditions and is used to playing on seaming and swinging conditions.

Both of our opponents this summer are very difficult to beat in their home conditions and it's been a complete and thorough test for us."

Amir's figures of 5 for 52 in England's second innings are the best of his short career so far and he credited former Pakistan fast bowlers Waqar Younis, the current team coach, and Aaqib Javed, the current bowling coach, with helping him improve.

"Both Waqar and Aaqib have really helped me improve as a bowler. They guide me quite literally session by session. They will sit down and talk to me at the end of each session when I have been bowling and explain to me what I did well and what I didn't do well in the completed session of cricket. In addition they will talk to me about the upcoming session and what is required of me. They are of great help to me and I believe that I can only improve as a bowler with guys like Waqar and Aaqib around me."

Amir, who has been drawing favourable comparisons to another Pakistan left-armer, Wasim Akram, doesn't seem to be affected by the acclaim he has been attracting, saying all he plans to do is stick to the basics and not get carried away.

"I don't want to over experiment and prefer to stick to the basics. I feel that if I try too many different things and experiment too much, then that affects the quality of my cricket. My philosophy is to keep it simple and stick to the basics instead of trying to be too clever."

One thing he does have to work on is getting closer to the stumps when he bowls.

"Waqar has told me that I need to get closer to the stumps when I am bowling. We have been working on this issue in the nets and in practice situations. In practice I do get close to the stumps, but I have to be honest, in match situations sometimes I overlook this. I'm sure with further experience this is something I can address."

He is also careful to keep a level head and not let an opponent's reputation unsettle or intimidate him. "I feel it's important not to get overawed even as a youngster and let the opposition attempt to intimidate you. I have come up against some of the world's biggest names in cricket and I don't feel intimidated by them."

Given that the issue of teams playing too much cricket is a hot topic these days, there have been calls from former Pakistan players to manage Amir's workload, even suggesting he should sit out a few games from time to time. Amir, however, wants to play as much cricket as he can.

"The more cricket I play, the more I learn; the more experience I gain and ultimately that improves my game. If I feel I am bowling well, feeling fit and in good rhythm then I don't want to miss any matches, as that will affect my rhythm in the next match that I will play in."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 27, 2010, 18:10 GMT

    I hope Pakistan would develop Amair to the level Wasim and Waqar were.....unlike the Rawalpindi Express..who came....rose...and fell on his face..

  • Bashir on August 23, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    @irfanwasim....Irfan,I agree with the very first comment of yours....its a bit too early to compare him with all time greatest fast bowlers of the world...but he certainly looks promising and looking at his age and the fact that he is a fast learner,he can be one of those greats 3-4 years down the road,provided he stays fit and does,nt get compalcent with all this early success and huge praise. You are right, Viru and raina are literally the devastators of fast bowling on their day,but,they do require a flat track for that to be accomplished.Having said that,I have profound respect for the talents that these two batsmen possess. Cricket is a passion in India and pakistan and thats why we keep on seeing fantastic talent being fed into these two great sides.However,the difference between the two sides is hardly noticeable as both teams are highly competent,specially while playing against each other.Bottom line is that cricket is a funny game and a lot depends on luck too!!!!

  • Nivek on August 23, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    I really don't think Pakistan should be proud of the pitches they make in Pakistan. I remember the last test in pakistan against Sri Lanka in which Younis got a triple century and two Sri Lankan batsmen got double centuries. That series was a bigger runfest than any in India. Even the Indian tours to pakistan in the last few years were run filled snorefests. So while you guys can be proud about your win, don't start talking about pitches when you guys make the same. Guys like irfanwasim are just degrading Indians here, its becoming embarrassing. @Khalid Khan. LOL at your ignorance. In the last 3 years, India have won series in West Indies, New Zealand, England,Pakistan and tests in Australia and South Africa. And your argument about Sachin is just lame. Try checking his stats, Its among the best out there. Try to grow up before making ignorant comments. Anyway congrats to the Pakistan team. Cheers.

  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    Amir and Asif are the best fast bowlers now. Please Stop bashing each other.

  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2010, 2:31 GMT

    @irfanwasim just pick up the record between pakistan and india and then decide which one is a club team \, pakistan or india. india win at home most of the time and also the sachin tendulkar is good at home while miserably failed offshore, glen mc grath out him always in the slip while shoib akhtar make him bowled (eden garden) while sourav ganguly flat on the ground. about the runs of pakistan, they also bowled out australia on 88, and also just refer to the yesteday example of india vs sri lanka, india all out 114. about the poverty of muhammad aamir, just visit the suburbs of bombay and see for yourslef the poverty of your country. pakistanis are well off then indians.indian players if you seen in the tv commercials, didnt look like heroes, just they want money.

  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2010, 1:29 GMT

    Pakistan Is My love, Pakistan Is the Best.. We just need Patience people!,as everything comes from Patience! No matter We loose,but with fighting,WE Win With our level best, it all related from Patience.. Pakistan on the whole Is struggling,But One Day Of Brightness will coe in Everything Of Pakistan.and that would be Forever..ameen! Our Country and team and all Pakistani's Are under Test By God. And You shut up Indians, You Better should be.. They Say That Every Dog Is the lion of his Home,same is With U, You just know How to Play Ipl..Look at Ur team first,they are struggling, they got bowled out for scores like 88 and 103.. Your Test team might be at the top, but look at the records,you won almost or mostly at ur home.. And Ur Pitches are Flat, Dead man! Even Icc Banned one of ur Stadium And Indians it ur bloody bookies who are doing this around the world,The case With Hansi Crowne Is the biggest Example.. who was the bookie, It was an Indian.

  • anser on August 23, 2010, 0:27 GMT

    Guys this should not be place to fight. Irfans comments are full of ignorance. Both India and Pakistan play good cricket and bring joy to the people of their country. But the fact is India and Pakistan both house 1 billion and 180 million people respectively and our records have been poor against Australia, England and SA . Australia is a nation of 22 million people only and they have the pride of producing the best cricketers since I started following the game. In recent years India has produced quality batsmen and Pakistan has produced quality fast bowlers but was that enough to achieve the greatness. I do not think so.. Let their be organized and well coached cricket in both countries and that will help the sport.. not these emotional verbal exchanges... India in my opinion has nowadays better resources than Pakistan and that might help their cricket but still they have miles to go... On the other hand I pray the best for Pakistan cricket for what we have seen in 2 years

  • Jonathan on August 22, 2010, 23:37 GMT

    Amir is like a breath of fresh air that was long needed not only in Pak Cricket but Internationally.

    I hope ICC take a note & eradicate all the feather beds as they are the ingredient for disaster for Test Cricket.

    This last test match b/w Pak vs Eng is a clear testament of how invigorating a Test match could be.

    We need bowlers like Steyn, Amir along with a pitch that is sporting so the batsmen are made to work & earn their runs as we all are tired of witnessing a slog-fest way too often.

    My biggest wish is, may God (as can not be expected from people there) install some professionals in PCB otherwise the great prospects PAK produces every once so often will be lost to oblivion like so many times before.

  • Dummy4 on August 22, 2010, 23:17 GMT

    at present,he is the best bowler in the world along with mohd asif....

  • zohaib on August 22, 2010, 22:52 GMT

    @Irfan wasim ..... hey hey boy stop dreaming, Talking abt india and sehwag/Raina ? Lemme awake u ! Forget Asif and Aamer, Recently India bowled out for 88! against Kiwis attack and lose by 200 runs (Including sehwag/raina) ! LOL Yesterday India bowled out for 103 runs against Lankans and lost under 15 overs ! LOL Open ur eyes and read PERERA got 5 wickets against ur sehwag and raina ! LOLLL Zimbabue hav beaten team india 2 times in a row (including raina/sehwag) LOL !! Man i hav a gr8 respect for sachin and dravid but if u doing ridiculous comparison then face the facts !

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