Mohammad Amir's performances in the ICC World Cup 2019 shouldn't be downplayed


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  1. #1
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    Mohammad Amir's performances in the ICC World Cup 2019 shouldn't be downplayed

    1a. Mohammad Amir - 15 wickets in 5 innings
    1b. Jofra Archer - 15 wickets in 6 innings
    1c. Mitchell Starc - 15 wickets in 6 innings
    4. Lockie Ferguson - 14 wickets in 5 innings
    5. Mark Wood - 12 wickets in 5 innings

    These are the top 5 wicket-taking bowlers of the 2019 CWC and all teams except India are done with at least 6 matches. I thought the best way to describe his efforts are to compare him to the other 4 bowlers.

    It is undeniable that Mohammad Amir has found almost miraculous form at the start of this tournament in retrospect of his dreadful statistical stretch in the last two years. But through the perspective of many fans and cricket analysts, Amir's performance isn't as special as it appears to be. I am here to partially debunk this downplay.

    One of Amir's greatest critiques is that he hasn't been able to strike with the new ball. Behind Jofra Archer's 5 powerplay wickets and Sheldon Cottrell's tournament leading 7, Amir is tied at 3 with a couple of others (such as Boult, Cummins, Malinga) but ahead of Starc's 2. I don't believe his bowling to open the innings is that poor (against SA, his opening spell read 4-1-9-1).

    As for the critique that Amir's wickets feel empty because they aren't making the team win -- In Pakistan's three losses, Amir arguably had the best performance from the playing XI in all of those contests (3/26 vs WI, 5/30 vs AUS, 3/47 vs IND). The 5-fer against Australia restricted them to 307, when at one point Australia stood at 223/2 in 33.3 overs, proving his performance to be a valiant one as most modern teams are looking to push for at least 120 within the last 15 overs while Australia lost 8 wickets in the midst of scoring 84 from their last 92 balls faced. Also, Pakistan's 2nd to 5th bowlers have not been taking as many big wickets as other teams (although Wahab has been bowling rare and somehwat inspirational spells at times.)

    Economically, between the top 5 wicket-takers, he is ahead of Archer and Starc in runs per over. He is marginally ahead of Ferguson and just barely behind Wood -- but I would say he has had the best economy as Wood hasn't bowled as many overs as Amir has in the first 10 overs when there are strict fielder restrictions.

    Out of the 5, Amir's has gotten out the least amount of tail-enders. Fergie, Starc, and Archer have all taken 4 and Wood has taken 3. Mohammad Amir has only gotten 2 out. This builds on to the value of his wickets.

    Another key thing to note is that Amir's match-up against Sri Lanka was washed out. Ferguson, Archer, and Wood all took 3 wickets against SL, as Starc took 4. Amir still also has to face AFG and BAN, two teams the others have already faced.

    Amir has yet to be taken apart as well (66/2 in a match where both teams crossed 330), while the likes of Starc struggled for his 1 wicket against India conceding 74 runs and Jofra Archer went wicketless, being dispatched by Pakistan for 78 runs in his 10-quota.

    Out of his 15 wickets, 10 were taken against top 50 batsmen in the world (according to ICC ODI Rankings as of June 1, 2019), while 8/15 are placed in the top 25 -- consisting of Virat Kohli, Shai Hope, Faf du Plessis, Aaron Finch, Jos Buttler, Hashim Amla, Usman Khawaja, and MS Dhoni. This is impressive even if you wish to statistically exclude the result of Virat Kohli's dismissal.

    Is Mohammad Amir the best bowler in international cricket right now? Most likely not. But is he having the best tournament? I'd say it's hard to argue against it.

  2. #2
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    Firstly, the idea that Amir has proved his haters wrong etc. means nothing. He has been dreadful for two years and there is no excuse for such a prolonged slump. His minnow level bowling was one of the key reasons why we are ranked 6th and have had an utterly embarrassing W/L ratio since Jan 2018.

    He needs to thank his lucky stars for getting the opportunity to play in this World Cup, because most other teams would have shown him the door long ago.

    As far as his performance in the World Cup is concerned, there is no doubt that he is bowling at his best level since returning from his ban. However, yesterday was his only impactful performance.

    He took 8 wickets against Australia and India, but all of them came in the later overs, when they had already piled up a significant score and were dismissed going for big shots. Half of the wickets came on nothing balls, and the Kohli one was a complete gift.

    With the form that he is in, he needs to strike with the new ball and not when the opposition is 120/0. That is what he did yesterday and that is why Pakistan were on top of South Africa for the better part.

    Pakistan cricket team and its fans owe Amir absolutely nothing. In fact, it is Amir who owes them everything, and his performances in the World Cup is the least he can do for this team and itís fans, for the fact that he has been the most well treated and pampered cricketer in Pakistan history.

  3. #3
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    Amir has been exceptional and he has found a rhythm I havent seen from him since...well, possibly the Asia cup after his return. Imagine if those two catches had not gone down? He would have 17 wickets at an average of less 14 in a team that is underperforming and on a return no one felt possible.

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    Except RSA, other wickets were soft wickets to be honest.

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    Hahaha haters keep hating. Check his eco rate during the PP its like 3.5!!!

    Teams take 0 risk against him and show him respect. He had the best bowling form and his stats show that.

  6. #6
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    To be honest yesterday was the day where he looked like a lethal bowler who would win you the matches singlehandedly, lets hope his purple patch continues to benefit Pak team.

  7. #7
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    Well, people still managing to find excuses to hate him.

    There's virtually nothing you can do to make everyone happy. Gotta ignore the haters.

    He's our premier bowler, the best we have and others are not even close. The gulf is huuuuuge.

    People criticizing his past one year do so without much thought. He came back in after a super long time, he wasn't finding his rhythm, the pitches were not poor, the coach we had is a dud in Azhar Mahmood.

    It's not only Amir, every other Pak bowler was bowling trash. Pitches plus Azhar Mahmood happened.

    Amir is back to beast mode and it's scary to think that even now he's not at his best. He can do much more and wreak even more havoc.

    What a gem.

    All great players of the past have had slumps in form. With continuous cricket.

    This guy had a dip in form too after a break of five freaking years.

    Don't let the hate stop you from acknowledging how wonderful he's been at the big stage, again.

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    People shout stop nitpicking. This has been a series of world class performances by Amir. Wahab's bowling shouldn't be downplayed too - was getting insane reverse swing yesterday. Together these two will be very difficult to handle, especially in the death overs, going forward.

  9. #9
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    Give the guy a break, fair enough he went through a bad patch but look at what the kids gone through, deserved or not. He has been carrying this bowling attack for the last few years, and god knows how many catches were dropped off his bowling in this period. I have been lucky enough to speak to esteemed cricket writers like Michael Atherton and Derrick Pringle, all of whom have not a bad word to say about Amir, quite the opposite. But obviously we have PP armchair pundits who know a lot more then the experts.

  10. #10
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    Just be thankful the Eng 4-0 series happened before the WC....
    -it gave your boys the time to get familiar with eng conditins, the best prep for an overseas team
    -you got rid of Fahim
    - you got wahab back
    - Zaman scored some big runs
    - Iman scored some decent runs
    -without even bowling a single ball MA became your best bowler

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentkiller187 View Post
    Give the guy a break, fair enough he went through a bad patch but look at what the kids gone through, deserved or not. He has been carrying this bowling attack for the last few years, and god knows how many catches were dropped off his bowling in this period. I have been lucky enough to speak to esteemed cricket writers like Michael Atherton and Derrick Pringle, all of whom have not a bad word to say about Amir, quite the opposite. But obviously we have PP armchair pundits who know a lot more then the experts.
    It's mostly to do with dislike or hate for a particular.

    We give a lot of leeway and cut slack for those who we personally like, even if they're doing bad, we make up excuses or talk about their positive side and contributions.

    But for a person like Amir who is doing so well, the armchair critics, because of the dislike, will only talk about a bad patch where everyone else was also failing. Plus factors like Azhar Mahmood and conditions also contributed.

  12. #12
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    I believe this narrative that his wickets have less value is pretty odd.

    He has proven no one can confidently dispatch him whether in the opening powerplay or the death.

    India had steamrolled to 248/2 in 40 overs, they scored 88 in the final 10.
    Amir went for 29 in his 4 overs in the death snagging 3 wickets, while Wahab and Hasan combined for 59 in their 6.

    Without Amir's efforts, India could've scored in surplus of 350. Now, I can't say 336 is a good score to give up but it proves Amir was the only one capable of damage control and our other two bowlers needed to be better in the death.

    As mentioned in the OP, Amir was the catalyst of stopping the doomtrain Australia was set upon. They should've scored 360, and once again -- I'm not suggesting we celebrate holding a team to 307, but in 2019 -- it's a score most teams are well poised to chase on a good track.

    Are batsmen making mistakes? Yes. But these mistakes are forced upon them. Amir might not be able to force their stumps to tumble over, but his accuracy has put oppositions in a position where if they are not dominating the other bowlers, they can't risk letting Amir get his overs out cheap. And Amir continues to bowl and batsman continue failing at launching him.

    Whether it was the wicket of Faf Du Plessis, several Australians, or Jos Buttler -- they have failed to take over the game when he is on the pitch.


    "Life is a war, so be like a warrior." - Vennu Mallesh

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Firstly, the idea that Amir has proved his haters wrong etc. means nothing. He has been dreadful for two years and there is no excuse for such a prolonged slump. His minnow level bowling was one of the key reasons why we are ranked 6th and have had an utterly embarrassing W/L ratio since Jan 2018.

    He needs to thank his lucky stars for getting the opportunity to play in this World Cup, because most other teams would have shown him the door long ago.

    As far as his performance in the World Cup is concerned, there is no doubt that he is bowling at his best level since returning from his ban. However, yesterday was his only impactful performance.

    He took 8 wickets against Australia and India, but all of them came in the later overs, when they had already piled up a significant score and were dismissed going for big shots. Half of the wickets came on nothing balls, and the Kohli one was a complete gift.

    With the form that he is in, he needs to strike with the new ball and not when the opposition is 120/0. That is what he did yesterday and that is why Pakistan were on top of South Africa for the better part.

    Pakistan cricket team and its fans owe Amir absolutely nothing. In fact, it is Amir who owes them everything, and his performances in the World Cup is the least he can do for this team and itís fans, for the fact that he has been the most well treated and pampered cricketer in Pakistan history.
    POTW. Summed it up perfectly. Until he delivers match-winning performances all stats should be taken with a grain of salt. This should be the standard for all players across the board.

  14. #14
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    The haters are out in full flow!

    Amir produced the 2nd best bowling figures of the tournament (until today it was the best) with his spell vs Australia 5/30. Australia would not have scored more than 270/280 had the catches been held, including off Amir's early spell - but the haters will also blame Amir for the dropped catches.

    These haters are the same muppets who claim that its all about the WC, the WC is the biggest stage etc, tournaments are important, and when we have a bowler who does just that, they come out with some other excuse to hate. Amir's performance in tournaments proves he is a gun player when it matters, and has helped Pakistan win 2 tournaments (09 and 17 - including a 5 year ban) - and inshaalah on course for the 3rd!

    The people downplaying his performance in this thread are no different to that kid who abused Sarfraz - ungrateful and unworthy.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Firstly, the idea that Amir has proved his haters wrong etc. means nothing. He has been dreadful for two years and there is no excuse for such a prolonged slump. His minnow level bowling was one of the key reasons why we are ranked 6th and have had an utterly embarrassing W/L ratio since Jan 2018.

    He needs to thank his lucky stars for getting the opportunity to play in this World Cup, because most other teams would have shown him the door long ago.

    As far as his performance in the World Cup is concerned, there is no doubt that he is bowling at his best level since returning from his ban. However, yesterday was his only impactful performance.

    He took 8 wickets against Australia and India, but all of them came in the later overs, when they had already piled up a significant score and were dismissed going for big shots. Half of the wickets came on nothing balls, and the Kohli one was a complete gift.

    With the form that he is in, he needs to strike with the new ball and not when the opposition is 120/0. That is what he did yesterday and that is why Pakistan were on top of South Africa for the better part.

    Pakistan cricket team and its fans owe Amir absolutely nothing. In fact, it is Amir who owes them everything, and his performances in the World Cup is the least he can do for this team and it’s fans, for the fact that he has been the most well treated and pampered cricketer in Pakistan history.
    I beg to differ on this simply of the reason that the performance against Australia was a potentially match winning one. We restricted a very good Aussie side to 308 which is was a below average total in my opinion. That was a match that we potentially should've won but lost due to losing too many wickets. Any good team should've been able to chase that. The bowling actually saved alot of runs in the end

    I do agree with what he managed to achieve against India and WI was somewhat meaningless.

  16. #16
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    Amir should maybe just focus on ODIs and t20s and retire from Test Cricket altogether. There is no shame in it as long as he is bowling this well even at this pace with such effectivity. This gap has done him wonders and I haven't seem him bowl with such a spring in his step for a while.

  17. #17
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    He has been exceptional so far. Probably the hardest bowler to hit for runs alongside Bumrah. Starc and Archer can go for runs.

  18. #18
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    To be honest Amir has always been a good bowler in English conditions. It is outside England he gets exposed. Unless he consistently picks early wickets and early wickets in bunches, he is not fulfililling his role in the team.

  19. #19
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    Just look at the spell when he bowls. the batsman dont want to take a chance. they fear to face him. his eco is great.


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  20. #20
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    As noted by the OP, most strike bowlers have struggled for early wickets in this tournament.

    Worth noting too that Amir is the only one in that list bowling without any decent fast bowling support. England has a stable of in form seamers, Starc has Cummins bowling well, Ferguson has Boult. Partnerhips matter in bowling & Amir is doing remarkably well considering he is unable to get any help in building pressure from the other end at all.

  21. #21
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    International cricketers understand how good Amir is.

    Look at the first game against WI. He was coming off a horrible patch yet Gayle/Hope respected his bowling while going after Hasan Ali.


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    He has been very good and has always been a world class bowler. Doing it in the WC matters most, JAMODIs happen all year long and are pointless, to say the least. The way forward, going into the T20 WC or even the ODI one in 2023, Amir needs to get his pace back. We need to see him bowling in the 140's again, consistently!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by waleed88 View Post
    I beg to differ on this simply of the reason that the performance against Australia was a potentially match winning one. We restricted a very good Aussie side to 308 which is was a below average total in my opinion. That was a match that we potentially should've won but lost due to losing too many wickets. Any good team should've been able to chase that. The bowling actually saved alot of runs in the end

    I do agree with what he managed to achieve against India and WI was somewhat meaningless.
    I think people were optimistic at half time during the Australia match. Sure, restricting them to 308 when they looked like score 350 at one point was a solid effort, but we are a nervous team and there was only a remote chance of Pakistan chasing that down under pressure.

    We can defend 300+, but 9/10 times, we will muck up a chase and that is what eventually happened. By opting to bowl first in excellent conditions, the aim was to take early wickets. Unfortunately, it didnít materialize for Amir or for anyone else.

  24. #24
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    Amir stats in World cup are better than Wasim, Waqar and Imran.

    Champion bowler.

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    He is missing Junaid Khan at the other end.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by aukhan View Post
    Amir stats in World cup are better than Wasim, Waqar and Imran.

    Champion bowler.
    He will have to play that many world cups first. Even in his eventual last days as a bowler Wasim Akram managed to RIP out a top order of Gilchrist Hayden and Martyn.

    None of the bowlers have had a dry spell of not picking wickets for 2 years so I think this comparison has a long way to go. The annoying thing about Mohammad Amir fans is they crawl out of their little holes once they see him perform but are absent to comment in the years he has been a complete failure for the side

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenstorm View Post
    He is missing Junaid Khan at the other end.
    Yeah Shaheen and Hasan have been disappointing.

  28. #28
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    Potent bowler in English conditions. No doubt. He needs someone to complement him. Still his seam presentation is awful for such an experienced guy. May be he lacks control with upright seam position. He always uses scrambled seam. It won't allow him to get the best out of new ball even in helpful conditions.

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    He has bowled 46 overs without conceding a six, only fast bowler who hasn't been hit for a six


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    It is scary to think that Pakistan might have dropped him for this WC. Head and shoulders best Pak bowler and so far most effective seamer.on view

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    I hope Pakistan give Hasnain a chance to bowl alongside Amir against NZ which I believe will make Amir even more lethal. Here's hoping it happens tomorrow......

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