‘When you go to a final, you want your experienced player, you want him to be fully fit’
Pakistan's pace spearhead Mohammad Amir is likely to be fit for selection for the ICC Champions Trophy title clash against India on Sunday.
Speaking to the media after Amir took part in an entire training session on Friday, Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood confirmed that the speedster, who missed the semi-final against England due to a back spasm, was fit but did not categorically say whether he will play at the Oval on Sunday.
A back spasm had ruled Amir out of the semi-final on June 14, after he failed a fitness test shortly before the toss.
"Amir bowled today (at the nets). Amir is fit. We have not decided about (playing him)," Mahmood said.
Despite bowling well, Amir went wicketless in the first two group matches, against India and South Africa.
Against Sri Lanka, he took 2 for 53 and scored a valuable 28 not out in an eighth-wicket partnership, which sealed a semi-final place for Pakistan.
"When you go to a final, you want your experienced player, you want him to be fully fit and participating on that particular day.
"But (we have told him) if he has any doubt he should let us know. At the moment he bowled today. He is fine. Yeah, definitely you would go with Amir, but we don't mind if Amir can't play. If he is not fit, then we have to move on."
In the semi-final, Amir was replaced by Rumman Raees, another left-arm fast bowler who made his ODI debut in the match.
Bowling with the new ball, Raees took 2 for 44 in Pakistan's eight-wicket victory.
Mahmood said they have enough bench strength.
"We have the bench strength. Last match, when Amir was not there, people were worried about our main strike bowler not playing. But the way Rumman Raees came in and bowled, it showed we have the bench strength.
"We have guys who have such skill and such an ability that they can perform on any stage. It is just a matter of self belief and confidence. I think anyone can replace anyone."
Image: Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir.
Photograph: Getty Images