Pakistan in New Zealand 2015-16 January 13, 2016

Amir's return will take pressure off me, says Wahab

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Amir's return will take pressure off me, says Wahab

Pakistan already have a bowler who is quick and hostile, and another who specialises in yorkers and reverse swing, but the return of Mohammad Amir may help round out the pace attack's threat, Wahab Riaz said. The visitors have brought a pace-heavy squad to New Zealand - Anwar Ali and Aamer Yamin also in the mix, while Umar Gul, Amir and Wahab himself make up the more high-profile seam options.

"Amir is a great introduction to the team," Wahab said. "He's getting a chance. He's a great fast bowler - he's proved that in the past. It's time for him to prove here as well. And he will prove it. With him there's less pressure on me as a bowler, because I'm getting his support. Umar Gul is back and is doing really well. It's going to be a good combination for Pakistan."

Amir's return to national team had in part been paved by his outstanding returns in the Bangladesh Premier League late last year. He took 14 wickets at an average of 12.64 and an economy rate of 5.56 in that tournament, where his swing and seam movement appeared largely undiminished by five years of suspension.

"Amir is a good inswing bowler, bowling with the new ball," Wahab said. "He can bowl outswing as well. If you can take wickets with the new ball the pressure will always be on the batsmen. That's I'm saying that him coming into the team will help us more."

On paper, Pakistan's attack appears stronger than the Sri Lanka bowling unit New Zealand plundered 147 for 2 against on Sunday. New Zealand's top order has been in excellent form, but Wahab suggested Pakistan's attack would present them with a sterner challenge.

"It seems like cricket is very easy these days for the New Zealand batsmen," he said. "They've been hitting balls really well. It's going to be a different challenge because we have much more good bowlers than Sri Lanka. They lacked experience, but we have experience and some quality bowlers as well. It's not going to be easy for them to score runs against us.

"We cannot sit back and see what they are doing. We will definitely attack, and let's see. If they can play good cricket - hats off to them."

Sri Lanka had struggled to contend with the small dimensions of Eden Park, but Pakistan have had recent success at the ground, having defeated South Africa there by 29 runs, during last year's World Cup.*

"We have some good memories here," he said. "The World Cup game we played here were very successful for us.

"It's a great preparation for the World T20. Winning here against the Black Caps could be a great confidence booster for the team. The way they are playing right now - if we get the series win here, it will be great for Pakistan cricket. "

*This article had said Pakistan won their most recent T20 series in the country, but New Zealand had been victors.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mrhamilton on January 16, 2016, 11:10 GMT

    Vicky riaz is a big hearted guy who through true hard work developed into a rightful successor to the w"s and shoaib.now finally he will have real support in pak bowling attack and i hope this handsome cricketer can have a good 3-4 year run and develop stats to match his talent

  • mrhamilton on January 16, 2016, 11:06 GMT

    Reference the writers assertion "Pakistan already have a bowler who is quick and hostile, and another who specialises in yorkers and reverse swing".............when was the last time anyone saw a yorker or reverse swing from umer gul? We"ve been saying the same thing for four years......i cant beleive this player who is washed up for years has been recalled when younger presently better players are around for pakistan.gul was a very good fast bowler from 2003-2012 but that time is gone....lwt him have this chance to see if he can at least recapture his skills

  • UpteenthTime on January 15, 2016, 4:18 GMT

    Amir will be an excellent partner of Wahab Riaz in Kiwiland and both will certainly enjoy the conditions on offer. I am an Aussie but this tour will be a cracker. Such a shame really. I reckon Pakistan could have almost been the top ranked test team with both Asif, Amir, Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah. Wow - what an attack that would have been. With Amir's inclusion they are back to being a serious threat to do so. Forget Salmon Butt, his void has been filled and never had a decent average anyway. Go Pakistan! I always enjoyed your style of cricket......

  • myaqoob on January 14, 2016, 22:44 GMT

    Ahmed Shehzad Azher Ali Harris Suhail Umer Akmal Shioab Malik Shioab Maqsood Shahid Afridi Imad Wasim Mohd Amir Wahab Raiz Umer Gul

  • Sid Abbas on January 14, 2016, 21:45 GMT

    Kiwis by a mile......but strange things can happen lets go my Pak team

  • Superjits on January 14, 2016, 3:25 GMT

    Pak can have a fearsome pace attack but lack batting depth to be world beaters. Their mercurial talent makes them entertaining to watch but frustrating sometimes to see wasted potential. Nevertheless, t20 is their forte so will be good to see who comes on top and sets the scene for the upcoming world T20

  • Syed_imran_abbas on January 13, 2016, 20:22 GMT

    My t20 side for tomorrow's match would be : 1- Ahmad shazad 2- Hafeez 3- Babar Azam 4- Umar Akmal 5- Malik 6- sarfaraz 7- afridi 8- Imad wasim 9- Aamir Yamin/ gul 10- Aamir 11- Wahhab

    They should have selected Sharjeel to open with shahzad.

  •   Chandra S Yangalasetty on January 13, 2016, 18:29 GMT

    Pakistan has a better bowling , than batting. It does not mean that they have world beaters in their bowling. If you look at the performance of the team, especially in world cup and all other tournaments where there are more than 3 teams involved, and even in bilateral series outside Asia, Pakistan's performance has been pedestrian. Very ordinary. Batting to some extent and fielding to a great extent has been its achillies heal. Match fixing /Spot fixing has ruined the reputation of the country , and I am not sure it is helped by the return of tainted Mohammed Amir to the fore. Age, that he has confessed and underwent rehabilitation does not cut the ice with paying public...they still question him at every opportunity...Ramiz Raza is right in opposing his selection...Mohammed Hafiz and Ahmed Shezad are two self-respecting individuals who refused to play along with a tainted player..

  • Cricinfouser on January 13, 2016, 16:58 GMT

    I see a future leader in Wahab Riaz. I can sense the aggression as well as honesty in his tone. I like to wish him success in his career.

  • idrizzy on January 13, 2016, 15:04 GMT

    @adarsh, pakistan one of the worst fielding sides? Yes, in the past but lately they've been outstanding. I assume you're SL so you wouldn't watch Pak matches but due to the influx of new, hungry players, they've shown great desire on the field which has lifted their standards to a respectable one. Anyway, Pak v NZ. NZ will win as their batting has been top notch, but people have Maqsood in their XI: why? What has he done? So much potential but like Umar Akmal he just wastes his wicket, more often by a run out. I just want to see a good BATTING performance tbh, but Yasir will be missed for sure. Hafeez needs to start bowling again. We need his economical bowling. Good luck, do us proud.

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