Mohammad Amir reveals Steve Smith is toughest batsman and Sergio Aguero is his favourite footballer

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Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir has opened up on who his toughest batsman to bowl to is, as well as his favourite footballer, in a rapid-fire interview.

The 26-year-old was speaking to Cricinfo and gave his answers on various topics.

On the toughest batsmen he has faced is former Australian captain Steve Smith. When it came to picking a batsman from any era, he named West Indies legend Brian Lara.

“Would have loved to bowl to Lara. Whenever I see his videos, I feel that he was the toughest batsman from that era,” he said.

Outside cricket, Amir looks up to the late physicist Stephen Hawking, who achieved remarkable fame despite not being able to move due to motor neurone disease.

“I love people who succeed in life overcoming various odds. Recently my wife told me about this scientist (Hawking) who was not able to walk or talk but he became world famous,” he said.

When it comes to Bollywood films, he would want Shahid Kapoor to play him if ever a biopic was made. In football, his favourite team is Argentina and favourite player Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero.

Highly rated: Sergio Aguero

Highly rated: Sergio Aguero

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KL Rahul hopes he's rediscovered his form as India look to seal three-match series with England

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KL Rahul finished with an unbeaten 101 on Tuesday.

KL Rahul is hoping to put 18 barren months well behind him after rediscovering the knack of hitting centuries.

The India batsman was scratching his head over his lack of hundreds, between a Test-best 199 against England at Chennai in December 2016 and an unbeaten 101 to complete Tuesday’s eight-wicket Vitality IT20 trouncing of Eoin Morgan‘s hosts in Manchester.

As he and India contemplate doubling up to seal the three-match series in Cardiff on Friday night, Rahul admits he was running out of theories about why he was habitually falling short of three figures in both international and domestic cricket.

“I didn’t know what to make of it – whether I was in form or out of form, (because) I kept getting the fifties and (then) getting out,” he said.

“Being in and out of the team, injuries and sickness all playing on my mind, kept frustrating me even more.

“(But) I realised somewhere down the line it is still better than getting out in single figures.”

It has been a long wait, but one which could not have ended in more rewarding circumstances for Rahul.

He said: “For a lot of us, it is our first time here in the UK – so every opportunity is gold for us.

“I wanted it really badly and I’m very happy that it came here in England, in the first game of the series.

“I hope I can carry that confidence forward and use the form and make it big.”

Rahul finished what his team-mate Kuldeep Yadav started at Old Trafford, where the left-arm wrist-spinner bamboozled England – taking three of his five wickets in one over.

Asked if the hosts have a weakness against spin, however, Rahul said: “I don’t think it is just England.

“A good wrist-spinner is a good wrist-spinner against any opposition.

“With the kind of skill and quality Kuldeep and Yuzvendra Chahal have, it’s always going to be hard for a team that doesn’t play spin a lot.

“What Kuldeep did was special… (to bowl) balls like that against (Jonny) Bairstow and (Joe) Root, (it) is always hard for a middle-order batsman.”

Kuldeep twice pulled out in his delivery stride – apparently to offset movement being made in the crease by the batsman – as did seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, sparking a minor confrontation with England all-rounder David Willey.

Rahul can see both points of view, but believes Kuldeep and Kumar did nothing wrong.

“It would frustrate me as a batsman,” he said.

“But the margin for error for bowlers in T20 cricket is very little – so whatever tactics they can come up with and whatever they try to do to upset the batsmen is only fair.”

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Live Cricket Blog: England's confidence is fully intact, says Chris Jordan

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Hello, Alex Broun and the rest of the Sport360 team are in place to provide you with the latest news, comment and analysis on all things cricket.

Our daily blog will ensure you have all the latest updates throughout your day and the week but we want you to get involved, too.

Tell us your thoughts on what’s happening by tweeting @Sport360.

6:30pm – England’s confidence is fully intact, says Chris Jordan

The England bowler says they still have a lot of confidence in themselves as they look to bounce back from their defeat to India on Friday. Read more on that story here.

Raring to go: Chris Jordan

Raring to go: Chris Jordan

3.45pm – Pakistan hold on to world No1 ranking with commanding 45 run victory over Australia

Australia were never in the hunt to haul in world No1 Pakistan’s impressive total of 194 for 7 in the T20I in Harare on Thursday, with the world No2 Ozzies reaching just 149 for 7 off their 20 overs.

The only batsmen to shine for the Aussies was wicket-keeper Alex Carey with a face-saving 37 from 24 balls. Record century-maker on Tuesday, Aaron Finch, went for just 16 while fellow opener Darcy Short struggled to 28 off a glacial 34 balls.

Best with the ball for Pakistan was Shaheen Afridi who took the wickets of Finch, Short and the dangerous Glenn Maxwell for 37 off his four overs.

3.05pm – Jos Buttler’s batting position dilemma ahead of India T20 clash

England face a tough task whether to stick with Jos Buttler in the opening role or bring him down the batting order for England’s T20 clash against India on Friday. It’s a must-win game for the hosts after their loss on Tuesday and will also have to deal with keeping Kuldeep Yadav quiet. Read more with our talking points article here.

Where he will bat? Jos Buttler

Where he will bat? Jos Buttler

2.11pm – Australia face tough chase in Harare

Some big hitting off the last two overs, accumulating 35 runs, has helped Pakistan set a challenging target of 195 for Australia to chase in the Tri-Series today in Harare.

Top scorer for Pakistan as they amassed 194 for 7 from their 20 overs was Fakhar Zaman, who knocked up a blistering 73 off just 42 balls at the top of the innings. Asif Ali also contributed a quick fire 35 off just 18 balls at the death.

Best with the ball for Australia were Andrew Tye who took 35 for 3 from his four overs and Jhye Richardson who too 43 for 2 from his full complement.

Fakhar Zaman knock up a quick-fire 73

Fakhar Zaman knocked up a quick-fire 73

12:32 pm – Zaman on fire in Harare

The T20 world No.1 ranking is on the line in Harare today as world No.1 Pakistan take on world No.2 Australia.

Australia won the toss and opted to bowl first, with Pakistan getting off to a blistering start to race to 70 for 1 off just 7.5 overs. Fakhar Zaman is 43 off just 25 balls while Hussain Talat is 23 from 21.

Follow our live scores HERE.

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