Australia batting legend Mike Hussey, famously known as Mr Cricket, believes Pakistan left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir is an outstanding talent even after all that he had to go through due to the spot-fixing episode.
Amir, on Thursday, showed his prowess with the pink ball when he dismissed two CA XI batsmen on the first two balls of hosts’ innings: James Peirson was clean-bowled on the first ball with an in-swinging delivery and then Will Bosisto was dismissed LBW in Cairns during the day-night tour match.
The 24-year-old later dismissed nightwatchman Ryan Lees on the last ball of his second over which marked the end of day one of the three-day affair. He finished with figures of 3-15 in his 10 overs while the hosts were bundled out for 114 in reply to Pakistan’s 208.
“He’s an outstanding talent,” said Hussey of Amir. “I know he’s been through a lot in a short career really, but I’m personally happy to see him back playing international cricket. I feel like he’s done his time and he’s a class bowler.”
The 41-year-old further said that Amir was equally good with the new and old balls and his presence will spice up Pakistan’s tour of Australia.
“Again, he’s someone that bowls extremely well with the new ball but is also very good with the old ball as well,” said Hussey. “He’s highly skilled, along with some of their other left-armers, so it’s going to be a great contest between bat and ball.”
‘On young Amir’
Hussey relived facing Amir during 2009-2010, before the then teenager was banned for five years for spot-fixing during the England series. The former southpaw said Amir had blown him away with his sheer talent back then.
“We’ve always thought that the Pakistanis have amazingly talented players,” said Hussey. “They always seem to come onto the scene and you think, ‘Wow, this guy’s unbelievable’, and Mohammad Amir was no different. He was young, talented, keen to do well, passionate sort of guy.”
He continued: “He just kept running in hard all day being young and fresh. He certainly gave us a good battle out there. It was a shame he had to go through that tough period but hopefully he comes back bigger and better.”
Pakistan or Australia?
Hussey, who scored 6,235 runs for Australia in 79 Tests with an average of 51.52, when asked to pick a winner of the three-match Test series, resorted to holding back from naming a clear-favourite. However, he said that Pakistan did have a chance to upset the Kangaroos on their own turf.
“Of course they can,” Hussey said when asked if Pakistan can topple Australia this summer. “Australia is going to have something to say about that though, and we’ve got a great record in Australia.”
Meanwhile, Hussey laid emphasis on doing well in the first, day-night match which will mark the start of the three-Test series.
“A day-night Test at the Gabba is going to be challenging for both teams, and so it’ll be interesting to see which team can make the adjustments and adapt to those conditions quicker. The first Test of any series is always really important, so if you can get off to a winning start, whether it be Australia or Pakistan, then you’ve got the confidence to move forward.
He added: “So, whoever wins that first one, will have a huge advantage going into the rest of the series. I can’t wait – you can’t pick it – but I think it’s going to be a greatly contested series.”
Mike Hussey was interviewed by cricket.com.au