Waqar Younis: Amir will play crucial role in World T20

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.

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Pakistan paceman Mohammad Amir dismissed returning New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum for a golden duck.

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 was always a smart bowler even at a young age and we knew that so we didn’t put that much pressure on him in this series but I think he still bowled the best among all the pace bowlers and within his limitations. He will only get better in the coming days and will play a crucial part in the World T20 in India,” he added.

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."

Pakistan have lost back-to-back series against England and New Zealand but Waqar insisted that the side should not be written off as a title contender in World T20.

“It is good we played against England and New Zealand two very good and competitive T20 sides before two major events. It provided us with an opportunity to get better equipped for the future,” the former Pakistan captain said.

Waqar, who has had to officially deny media reports that the poor performances against England and New Zealand had led him to submit his resignation, said the coming Pakistan Super League in Dubai and Sharjah would also put the players in proper frame of mind for two tough assignments.

“I think our biggest problem has been fielding lapses and fitness and I and the trainers have given a program to the players to work on during the PSL,” he added.

“I have also informed the PCB about these plans and if the boys carry them out they will be in the run for the Asia Cup and World T20,” he said.