Mohammad Amir being compared to me is a compliment: Andy Roberts
Somerset coach Matthew Maynard reckons Pakistan's left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir, who will play his first Test in six years next week, reminds him of West Indies great Andy Roberts.
Amir has claimed four wickets so far in Pakistan's tour game against Somerset.
Maynard, a former England batsman, told reporters in Taunton: "He (Amir) was swinging it massive in the first innings, proper late big swing. He's a threat, he always has been, hasn't he? He's got that pace, he's wiry, he's got a change-up, you don't see that too often these days.
"He's someone who almost bowls at 90 per cent, 95 per cent of his capabilities and then he throws that 100 percenter in, that change of pace up, like the old great Andy Roberts."
Pakistan's Mohammad d Amir celebrates Marcus Trescothick's wicket during the warm-up tie vs Somerset on Monday. Pic/Getty Images
Roberts, whose first Test tour to England was exactly 40 years ago, told mid-day yesterday that Maynard had paid him a compliment. "It's a compliment because somebody remembers me," said Roberts from Trinidad.
"When I saw Amir for the first time he appeared something special. Then, he got banned (for spot fixing) and is back now. He hasn't played a lot. Whether he has regained his craftiness is to be seen, but doing well in the lead-up to the Test series is good news for Pakistan. At least this will ensure England don't prepare tracks which will suit their bowlers."
Roberts would like to see bowlers use their heads more. "I don't see that happening enough. It has become a power-based game and a lot of stuff is overdone. Bowlers need to vary their pace, but that does not mean they have got to bowl a lot of slower balls," said Roberts, who was known for bowling two bouncers. The second one would be a lot quicker and dangerous than the first.
The opening Test of the four-match England vs Pakistan kicks off at Lord's on July 14.