Waqar: Amir not at his best


Waqar Younis said Pakistan must be patient with Mohammad Amir after stating that the paceman is "not at his best" following the one-day international series defeat against New Zealand.

The left-arm quick took 2-39 as the tourists were consigned to a three-wicket defeat in a rain-affected third and final game of the series at Eden Park on Sunday.

Amir recorded figures of 3-28 in the series opener, which was his first ODI appearance since serving a five-year ban for his part in a spot-fixing scandal, but Pakistan coach Waqar said there is plenty more to come from the 23-year-old.

"I still feel Amir's not at his best at the moment," Waqar said.

"I always knew that it's going to take some time. But he's getting there. He's started swinging the ball back at right-handers, which I think is key for the left-arm fast bowlers. And he's getting his pace back."

Amir dismissed returning New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum for a golden duck, but Pakistan were unable to avoid slipping to a 2-0 series defeat.

Mohammad Hafeez (76) and Babar Azam (83) made half-centuries in the tourists' total of 290 all out, but Martin Guptill (82) and Kane Williamson (84) starred as New Zealand reached their revised target of 263 with two balls to spare.

Pakistan were baffled when Billy Bowden failed to raise his finger after Corey Anderson appeared to edge Rahat Ali behind in the 39th over and the all-rounder hit the next two balls for six before falling for 35.

Amir has been in the spotlight in New Zealand and Waqar said it is important not to place too much expectation on his shoulders.

"There's still a lot of pressure for Amir, playing international cricket," Waqar said. "We're trying to ease him into it - not expecting blasts from him. As long as he gets to his peak, when the time is right, hopefully he'll deliver the goods for Pakistan."