Mohammad Amir is one of those things that seems like it'll be great, like a cycling holiday, but the reality is never that good. Since his return, Amir has taken wickets every 75 balls. Of bowlers with more than 50 wickets, that's the worst.

That is the kind of strike rate you might expect from a spinner, except, the spinner he usually plays with, Yasir Shah, actually has a way better strike rate. Amir looks like a strike bowler, but he's more of an anti-strike bowler.

It's not just the strike rate.

Neil Wagner is the kind of cricketer who wouldn't be famous in his own house, but he's really good. Despite little pace, not much lateral movement, he's one of the most successful Test bowlers over the last few years. You'd have to be drunk to pick Wagner, a pickup truck that can't go into fourth gear, over Amir, a V12 Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4. It's no comparison.

Wagner picks up 4.4 wickets a Test; Amir is down at 2.8.

It's not just opposition bowlers but those within his own team; the other Pakistan seamers average 31 since Amir's comeback. He averages 33.

In the Tests that Amir has played since his return, he's been outperformed by other seamers in nearly every category.

The only thing Amir is above average for is economy. So how did this incredible bowler become so ordinary? He's now played more Tests as this guy than he did as Captain Wonderpants before his ban.

But while we remember the magic balls of Amir, maybe we've forgotten that he was really good, but not great before the ban.

Of the top bowlers in the two years before his ban, he is placed firmly in the middle. What you can see is his strike rate was far better, but his average was only four runs better.

The English summer he took all those wickets was the greatest summer of seam bowling in England in the last ten years. And the second best of this millennium.

That summer Amir was incredible. But then so was Shane Watson, who took a five-fer, and averaged 10.

Did we mention that Shane Watson averaged 10 that year?

Without getting too Root maths (Root maths is when you try and prove a player is no good by taking out large sections of their stats to make your own point), Amir took 51 wickets before his ban and 30 of them were in that summer.

So was Amir a great bowler about to explode, or an excellent swing bowler playing in the best English swing conditions in recent memory?

Many seam bowlers from Asia have their records skewed by playing in conditions that don't work for seamers. But Amir has only played 21% of his Tests in Asia; Josh Hazlewood has also played 20%.

If there is anything that Amir has had to deal with, it's his misfortune.

When you look at ESPNcricinfo's control stats and work out a strike rate (of how often bowlers take wickets from those deliveries where batsmen are not in control), Amir is second worst, better only than Stuart Broad. Both are well over the overall average of 10.2.

And you'll see that man again, Neil Bloody Wagner is at the top. Now that could be because Broad and Amir bowl a length that beats the bat but doesn't take the edge as much, or they don't attack the stumps as, say, Starc. Either way it's frustrating.

But not as frustrating as how often catches get dropped off Amir's bowling. It's become funny for everyone, except Amir. The numbers from CricViz show why.

Of bowlers who have created 20 or more chances since Amir's return, Amir is second worst with 63%. That is, of the total chances he has created, only 63% have been caught. That makes him the only seamer in the bottom five and, you'd have to think, genuinely unlucky.

How much better his numbers would be is hard to tell, but Wahab Riaz has the same average in this period, and he's had 93.5% of his chances taken.

Amir is better than Wahab, but he looks better than most bowlers. Yet since his return, he's been average at best. And maybe he could never be as good as our memories of the 19-year-old who broke our hearts, except for those occasional magic balls.

When Amir took Dawid Malan's wicket today, the ball bounced 40cms more than a normal ball had been bouncing off that level, according to CricViz. It was another in his long run of magic balls.

Amir's comeback's had some stunning views, but mostly it's been steep hills, flat tyres and chaffed thighs.