Amir to audition for WC in England: Sarfraz-Arthur


Despite Sarfaraz Ahmed's claim that the team management "already have in (their) minds which team (to) take to the World Cup", Mohammad Amir has a chance to make the final cut by putting up performances in the limited-overs series against England.

In their last press conference ahead of Pakistan's departure for England, both Sarfaraz and Mickey Arthur said the left-arm pacer will be provided opportunities against England to showcase his worth in those conditions.

"Amir has an opportunity in the England series [to make the final cut]," Sarfaraz said at the PCB headquarters in Lahore. "He has been working hard here and has shown that in his bowling in the training camp. In the practice match yesterday, he looked good while bowling. We will try to provide him an opportunity in England so he can perform.

"It will be a good competition amongst our pacers. We have taken six fast-bowlers so we can rotate and not put any of them under pressure."

"He is running well and his attitude has been outstanding," said Arthur of Amir. "He's been brilliant in the last couple of weeks and he will have opportunities in England to show us he still deserves a spot in the World Cup squad."

"In Hasnain, we've got an X-factor player," Pakistan head coach said. "Our captain has a player he can throw the ball to if he needs a wicket, if he needs to strike. We understand he's inexperienced. Sometimes inexperience and youth brings about a lot of attitude. And we're hoping he gives us that.

"He comes into the occasion certainly against four of the nine teams we are playing. When you're talking Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and West Indies, those are teams we're going to have to beat them with express pace. So he forms part of an initial game plan for us."

"The last two ODIs we played against Australia, he bowled the best he did in that series. The key for Yasir is to challenge both edges. If Yasir's challenging both inside and outside edges of the bat, he becomes a different beast. If he only challenges the outside edge, players can line him up and hit him one side of the ground. Yasir is under no illusions he has to challenge the inside edge as well and that means he has to bowl his googly more often. He bowled his googly with decent effect in those last couple of games.

"The conditions in the UAE were such the wickets were especially flat and didn't turn. If we get on a wicket that just grips a little bit, Yasir is a bowler we still feel can be a weapon for us. But, time will tell on whether we decide to pick him for the final World Cup squad."

"I can assure you that we have prepared very hard and we will outstretch ourselves to have results in our favour in the World Cup," he said. "We should leave what happened in the past in the past. Seven to eight of our players were rested for the Australia series. Yes we did make some mistakes in the past, but we won't repeat them.

"We have a different batting order. I will bat in the top positions, mainly top five, and Shoaib [Malik] bhai will play at six."

"We have done it in the past and we can do it again. We have won all the ICC Men's World Cups whether it was the 2006 [U-19 World Cup], World T20 [in 2009] or the '92 World Cup. We have even won the Champions Trophy. That's why we have the caption 'We Will, We Have'," he said, somewhat misreading a panaflex at his back which read 'We Have We Will' - Pakistan's theme for the World Cup.