London, July 12 (IANS) Veteran England pacer Stuart Broad said his team needs to forget about Pakistan bolwer Mohammad Amir’s past and concentrate on his cricketing abilities as he is capable of doing some real damage during their upcoming Test series.
England will begin their Test series against Pakistan on Thursday at Lord’s and Amir is set to make a high-profile return to the Test scene, at the very ground where he became embroiled in a spot-fixing scandal in 2010.
The 24-year-old was one of the hottest properties in world cricket at the time and is now playing again after serving his suspension.
His performance in the tour opener against Somerset last week suggested that he could be a real threat to England this summer.
“It is a huge story, back for his first Test at Lord’s since the controversy six years ago, a massive story. But, as a team, it is a dangerous place to get waylaid by that, because we could find ourselves in a lot of trouble,” Broad was quoted as saying by Sky Sports on Monday.
“Having seen the way Amir has bowled at Taunton, we need to get in the right frame of mind, because he can do us some damage. Let’s start looking at him as a cricketer and a bowler, and how we can negate that.”
“I think what will help the team move on is that there is only me, Alastair Cook and Steve Finn who played in that Test. It is a very new team,” he added.
England will be without Broad’s regular new-ball partner James Anderson for the Lord’s Test, meaning Jake Ball or Toby Roland-Jones will be handed a debut.
Broad memorably bowled England to an Ashes win at Trent Bridge when Anderson was absent last year, and again impressed when England were without the Lancashire pacer in Durban last Christmas, but still managed to secure a victory over South Africa.
Broad will again lead the England bowling attack against Pakistan at Lord’s this week.
“I have played 90-odd Test matches, and I can only think of maybe five or six without Jimmy. You are stepping into the unknown, but that can give you a bit extra. Trent Bridge went well, Durban went well. I hope it will go the same here,” the 30-year-old said.
Broad’s chief concern is the Lord’s pitch, which has not tended to offer much help to pace bowlers of late.
“I think our biggest challenge is going to be this wicket, because you look at all the Middlesex scores and they are all bore draws – 500 plays 500,” he concluded.