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The words that came back to haunt Rohit

Amir's stunning spell justifies the hype that circulated around speedster upon his international return

"He is just a normal bowler."

They were six words that came back to haunt opening batsman Rohit Sharma following India's spectacular collapse in the ICC Champions Trophy final that saw them surrender their title to fierce rivals Pakistan at The Oval.

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Rohit had been talking about Mohammad Amir, shortly after the left-arm tearaway returned to the international scene following his five years out of the game for his role in the spot-fixing controversy that rocked cricket back in 2010.

"Stop talking about him already," Rohit said of Amir in March 2016.

"There is just so much hype around him, I don't think it is right to give him too much hype after one match.

"He is good but he needs to prove it over and over again.

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"Now people are comparing him to Wasim Akram and all that.

"He is just a normal bowler, on that given day if he is good, he is good.

"It is not as if he turns up and blows everyone away."

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On Sunday in London however – the same city where Amir had committed the offence that forever changed his life almost seven years ago – the Pakistani spearhead did exactly that, knocking over India's top three to inexorably shift the balance of the final in his team's favour.

And this wasn't just any top three.


Rohit was coming off a sparkling century in the semi-final against Bangladesh; his opening partner, Shikhar Dhawan, had been the standout batsman of the tournament, piling on scores of 68, 125, 78 and 46 in his four previous trips to the middle; and the No.3 was Virat Kohli, a man who boasts arguably the finest batting record in ODI history and who had just compiled a sublime unbeaten 96 in his last knock.

In the space of five overs, Amir counted for all three of them: Rohit for nought, Dhawan for 21, and Kohli for five.

And even Wasim Akram was moved to tweet that the 25-year-old left-armer reminded him of himself.


The spell put Pakistan on the path to what was ultimately a comprehensive 180-run victory as Amir completed a redemption of sorts in the eyes of many Pakistan supporters.

Afterward, his brother Neveed spoke with the Times of India from the Pakistan city of Lahore.

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"Our family village, Changa Bungial, is near Gujjar Khan near Rawalpindi and after the spot-fixing scandal happened, we were so ashamed and felt bad about facing people," Naveed said.

"Our family has now settled in Defence Lahore but our roots remain in our village and now when we go there we can proudly look up to our people again.

"Since completing his punishment, (Amir) wanted to do something exceptional for Pakistan to make up for his wrongdoing and I think he managed that on Sunday."

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