2019 Cricket World Cup, Game 17, Australia v Pakistan
Mohammad Amir’s powder was drier than camel biltong. No-one could really remember when he last made use of it. Some people said it was in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy when he dismissed Virat Kohli one ball after seeing him dropped, but memories aren’t what they used to be, so no-one was willing to commit to that.
As we’ve written before, prison changes a man in the very specific sense that it slightly dulls cricket brilliance. If one Mohammad Amir entered Feltham Young Offenders Institution in 2011, then we reckon that three different Mohammad Amirs emerged.
Mohammad Amir 1 is a strange doppelganger who can do 99 per cent of what the original Mohammad Amir could do, but not the crucial one per cent that happens when he lets go of the ball. He runs in, his arm whips over and then for the briefest of moments he’s Ruchira Perera or someone and nothing much of any consequence happens. This is the Mohammad Amir we’ve seen most of.
Mohammad Amir 2 is the subject of an actual curse. He retains all of his skills, but must live out his life in a purgatory inhabited by team-mates with no fingers and heavily-greased palms. He bowls, he finds the edge, he watches the ball hit the turf.
Mohammad Amir 3 runs in exactly the same as the other two and bowls the ball the same as the second guy, only in his case the catches stick.
Australia were 277-4 when Mohammad Amir 3 came on to bowl the 43rd over and they finished 307 all out. This wasn’t even the spell where he bowled best.