Mohammad Aamer quoted that he was very 'lucky' to be back playing Test cricket for his nation    Getty Images
Mohammad Aamer admitted he was very ‘lucky’ to be back playing Test cricket for his nation Getty Images

Pakistan‘s tour of England begins on July 14 with the first Test at the Home of cricket, Lord’s. Quite obviously, the talk of the town has been the return of left-arm paceman Mohammad Aamer from his five-year long absence from Test cricket. But while the attention around his renascence in red-ball cricket after being given the ‘tainted’ tag and the kind of reception he will get at Lord’s, has been a major talking point among the cricketing fraternity, the extent of impact a ready-to-unleash Aamer might have against England on pitches that offer swing and bounce has certainly not gathered enough observation. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: England vs Pakistan , 1st Test match at Lord’s

After Aamer returned to play limited-overs cricket in the Pakistan squad that toured New Zealand earlier this year, he bagged 5 wickets in the three-ODI series. The second ODI was a washout without a ball bowled. He had begun well. Although, there was a lot to prove. READ: Is Mohammad Aamer’s re-admission fair to cricketers who follow spirit of the game?

In the subsequent 20-over Asia Cup 2016 tournament that followed, the young talent who was about to turn 24, exploded. His spell against India when he took 3-18 was an example of pure skill on show. He sent two of India’s best right-handed limited-overs batsmen Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane packing into the dressing room after trapping them in front. Suresh Raina’s leading edge had given him his third that day. But, Aamer was back. Up and running.

The ICC T20 World Cup 2016 in India was next. Pakistan’s stay in the competition was not for long, and Aamer ended up with 3 wickets in the tournament. But with an away series fast approaching, one thing was clear Aamer was certainly Pakistan’s best strike bowler. And so, he was picked for the series in England. READ: Mohammad Aamer in spotlight as he returns where he threw it away

Visa issues were the next roadblock in Aamer’s return in white outfit for his country. Once that issue was done with, a relieved and hungry-for-success Aamer then admitted, that he was very ‘lucky’ to be back playing Test cricket for his nation.

But when we look back at the Test series that took place in 2010 between England and Pakistan, Aamer’s stats are riveting. Pakistan did end up losing 3-1 to the hosts then, but Aamer had taken 19 wickets in the four Tests. What might be more interesting to ponder upon and might also draw mixed emotions from those who are concerned about Pakistan cricket and the young star at the center of the debate, is the fact that Aamer took a magnificent 6-84 in the first innings of the infamous Lord’s Test then. He bowled with an economy rate of 3.00. But what the scorecard also showed were four no-balls and a wide. And that, might definitely make someone reading this, desperately trying to find an answer as to why Aamer did what he did. READ: Pakistan vs England 2016: Looking beyond Alastair Cook, Mohammad Aamer

The truth is, he did it. But that is past now. It is a new beginning for Aamer now. Because as they say, what looks like the end, might just be a new beginning.

Aamer will be up against an England batting line-up which has struggled against left-arm pacers a lot. The right-handers Alex Hales, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and James Vince will have to be really cautious of his in-swinging deliveries. He did give a glimpse of that in the three-day practice game against Somerset when he went through Peter Trego’s defence with an in-swinging ball that knocked the middle-stump out of the ground. England would have surely seen action replays of Aamer’s potentials heading into the series. Bairstow had a dream-run in England’s last series against Sri Lanka, bagging the Man of the Series as well, but Pakistan are a completely different test. READ: Mohammad Aamer pick of the Pakistan fast bowlers for England tour: Umar Gul

Aamer, who will form the crux of the bowling attack knows exactly how to draw a batsman forward, how to get a nick off him and how to plan a dismissal most importantly. He is clever, pacy, can swing the cherry and can even make use of the old ball. He is therefore, not just a threat, but a tricky customer to deal with. And if conditions favour him, he can also run through a side, just like James Anderson.

The left-handers, especially Alastair Cook, after an average sort of a series at home against an inexperienced Sri Lankan bowling unit will have a real test as well. Gary Ballance, on the other hand, making a surprise return to the squad in place of Nick Compton, has had his worries with the full deliveries especially from left-armers. All in all, England have a massive challenge to step up to. Not only Aamer. With Wahab Riaz and Rahat Ali, the other two left-armers, England might just have to taste some music at their home soil this time around. READ: Alastair Cook playing mind games with Mohammad Aamer to sidetrack his rhythm

With the first Test at Lord’s, their hammering defeat at the hands of the Australians in Ashes 2015, when they were bundled out for 103 in the 2nd innings, might also come back to haunt them. The three Mitchells (Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Marsh) had done the damage then. It could be an all-Aamer show now.

And then, it will be amusing to see the reception he gets when he walks off with a fifer or more. Life and cricket would then come a full circle for Aamer.

(Karan Dewan, a reporter with CricketCountry, loves following and playing sports. He is a Team India fan and loves winning. Follow him on his twitter handle @karan13dewan)