Mind game ahead of 1st Test? Wahab Riaz terms England batting line-up 'fragile'

Written by: IANS
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London, July 11: Ahead of the first Test against England at Lord's, Pakistan pace spearhead Wahab Riaz on Monday (July 11) backed tainted pacer Mohammed Amir, who is set to return to the scene of his spot-fixing crime on Thursday (July 14).

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Amir, who earned himself a five-year jail term after deliberately bowling no-balls in the 2010 Test against England, has been the talking point since the Misbah-ul-Haq-led side landed in the country.

File photo: Wahab Riaz-Shane Watson duel during WC 2015

"We are very happy to have him (Amir) back. He's a dangerous bowler for any opponent," Wahab was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

"Everyone's behind him -- all the other 16 members of the squad. He's a part of our family, he's a part of Pakistan, he's represented our country -- so we are all behind him. We will support him and we really want him to do well," he added.

The left-arm quick also targeted the English batting line-up, terming it "fragile" and said he believes it will fall apart while facing Pakistan's strong bowling.

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Wahab feels that apart from skipper and opening batsman Alastair Cook and No.3 Joe Root, the rest of the batting comprising youngsters Gary Ballance, James Vince will find it difficult to handle Pakistan's fiery bowling.

"We know that England is struggling with their middle order. Joe Root is one of their best players and he has to take the responsibility, so that's why he is at No.3," he said.

"But I think the other batting is fragile. If you get Cook and Root quickly, you can really put pressure on them, but you can't take things easy against them," he added.

Throwing his weight behind the young bowlers, the 31-year-old said despite lack of experience they have the pedigree to win a Test.

"I love to take responsibility. We're not a very experienced attack, but we all have the ability to win a Test match. "Mohammad Amir, Rahat Ali, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah - they can all win you a game," he said.


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