LONDON - Pace bowler Wahab Riaz claims that neither he nor his team-mates are the least bit concerned about what the cricket-loving public say about Pakistan and their murky past.

On Thursday, Wahab’s fellow paceman Mohammad Aamir returns to Lord’s where six years ago, during his country’s last tour of England, he bowled no-balls in exchange for money at the behest of his then captain Salman Butt. Aamir served time and a five-year ban from the game but is now back – to the distaste of many.

“You cannot stop what people say and what people think,” Riaz said at Lord’s in a spiky and bullish press conference on Tuesday ahead of the first Investec Test. “It doesn't matter what people think and we are not here to answer what people think. We are here to play good, competitive cricket against an England side who are very good in their home conditions.”

“Our focus and concentration is to win this Test and play as good as we can for our country and win this game. That is all we are thinking. We know things will come and go but you hear it in one ear and you leave it with the other and you just concentrate on your cricket.”

“What has happened has gone now so the best thing is that (Aamir) can perform well. I want him to take five wickets in this Test to get his name back and to get his image back which has been spoiled. I wish him all the best to win this Test for Pakistan.”

There were Pakistan players who were hesitant about accepting Aamir with open arms when he returned to international cricket for a T20 match in January against New Zealand. But Wahab said they are all in it together.

“I have said it before, but everybody is supportive of Aamir, no one is reluctant. We all take him as our young brother and he is a part of our family. Everybody is supporting him and we are all behind him.”

But how will the 24-year-old cope with the scrutiny that his return to Test cricket will bring?

“He will deal with all those things and he is ready to answer with his performance and that is what counts. He is ready for everything. If you make a mistake it doesn't mean that you are out of this world and people will keep blaming you for that. Once he has done his punishment then it is a new life for him and he is ready to have a go again.”

Wahab feels his side is in good form having performed well in their two warm-up matches, particularly at Taunton where Aamir looked incredibly dangerous.

“We have a lot of good bowlers, we have Aamir, Imran Khan, Rahat Ali and everybody is really good in these conditions. (The warm-up matches) did give us good confidence. We have seen teams coming here and struggling. We have come here and done well so that gives us confidence going into the first Test.”

If anyone thinks Pakistan are going to take a backward step in this series, perhaps out of embarrassment at what happened six years ago, they would be dissuaded of that idea after half an hour in the presence of Wahab.

“We are not worried about who England has picked or who they haven't picked,” he added. “They have lost a few places in the middle order which (brings) pressure. They are not going to be that experienced as when we have played them before. So it will be a struggle for the England team. We will make sure that we get both Cook and Root out so that we can put the pressure on the middle order.”

Wahab said earlier in the week that Pakistan had special plans for Joe Root, England’s new No 3. Root dismissed it as trash talking.

“You want me to tell you the plans so it can be available for him?” asked Wahab. “Every batsman has a strong point and a weak point. Root is the backbone of the England team and getting him out early will put the pressure on England. If he thinks it is just trash talk then hats off to him.”

Wahab was also reminded of his row with Jonathan Trott six years ago that ended up with the pair squaring up and almost coming to blows. Apologetic he was not.

“He was a bit rude,” Wahab said. “And when it comes to being rude you can never beat the Pakistanis on it. We are the most rude when it comes to it. We are nice but if somebody is rude we won’t (hold back). He was a bit rude, he was angry, he was not scoring runs, he was getting out early in the one-dayers. It was frustration and he tried to take out on me.”