An impressive bag of six wickets in his second game of the County Championship stint with Gloucestershire led to the ultimate question for Mohammad Amir: is he keen on making a return to Pakistan’s Test side?
The 30-year-old is on a comeback at the first-class level a good two and a half years after announcing his premature retirement from Tests. He also decided to quit international cricket after a fall out with the team management and the Pakistan Cricket Board regime.
The left-arm pacer had been plying his trade in white-ball leagues before encouragingly signing with Gloucestershire for their three league games in Division 1 as a replacement to injured fellow Pakistan quick Naseem Shah.
“It is too early to talk about a Test return. You never know and things can be changed but for now I’m enjoying playing for Gloucestershire,”Amir told the ECB Reporters Network in Southampton.
Upon his immediate comeback to the first-class game, the left-arm speedster toiled for 28 wicket-less overs against Surrey last week. But his second game against Hampshire has been more impressive, bagging figures of 3/57 in the first-innings and finishing Day 2 of the low-scoring game with 3/22.
Amir said he understands it will take his body time to respond well to the rigours of red-ball cricket again, having put his first-class career to rest for a long time. It is also why the pacer has been willing to do the hard yards and bowl long spells for Gloucestershire, especially with the old ball via which he has taken most of his breakthroughs.
With the Pakistan Test side still under transition with their fast-bowling resources, the selectors would have an eye set on how Amir’s brief but critical county stint unfolds from here on.
The Babar Azam-led side would love to have the experience of Amir available in their ranks as they look to push on and be a more consistent force home and away.