A beaming Mohammad Amir accepted he has been dreaming for a five-for against India in the crucial Champions Trophy match at Edgbaston on Sunday.
Pakistan will rely on pace as they had targeted India with speed in the past, saying in 2012-13 when they won a ODI series 2-1.
So Amir will be the key in that, and the left-armer realizes his importance.
“Yeah, I am hoping to get wickets and if they are five I will take them any day,” Amir told ARY News. “I know my responsibility to take wickets upfront and that will put India on the backfoot.”
Reminded of his early wickets in last year’s Asia Cup and then in the World Twenty20 before Virat Kohli took the game away, Amir accepted Kohli’s wicket will be the key.
“Yes, we know how important is Kohli’s wicket and if we get him early then we can put India under pressure. We have discussed some plans in bowlers’ meeting with Azhar Mahmood (bowling coach) so hopefully we will execute them,” said Amir.
Pakistan very confidently announced Junaid Khan, Fakhar Zaman and Haris Sohail will not be part of the eleven which leaves a tie between medium pace all-rounder Fahim Ashraf and Shadab Khan.
Amir hoped people back home will pray for the team in the holy month of Ramadan.
“This is Ramadan so we hope the whole nation will pray for us,” said Amir. “It’s a special game as always so there will be huge excitement.”
Amir fondly remembers his two wickets in the Champions Trophy win over India at Centurion in 2009, including the memorable wicket of Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar.
“Yes that was very special,” reminisces Amir. “I got Sachin and that made me proud. In the same manner Kohli’s wickets will be memorable.”
He also remembers Kohli’s affection for him during the Asia Cup last year, gifting him his bat.
“That was special. Kohli is a world class player and that gift has been special for me. We share good bond off the field,” said Amir who backs more cricket with India.
“Put politics aside and we should play more and more cricket. People want to watch this match because it’s the greatest match on the international stage.”