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Aamer keeps feet firmly on ground

Pakistan's teenage bowling sensation Mohammad Aamer described his stunning Headingley display against Australia as “just a beginning”, saying he had a long way to go at international level.

cricket Updated: Jul 26, 2010 00:20 IST

Pakistan's teenage bowling sensation Mohammad Aamer described his stunning Headingley display against Australia as “just a beginning”, saying he had a long way to go at international level. The 18-year-old took 11 wickets in the two Tests against Australia —including three for 20 and four for 86 in Pakistan's three-wicket win over Australia completed at Headingley on Saturday.

“It's a dream come true because I had always wanted to do well against Australia,” left-arm seamer Aamer said after being named Pakistan's man-of-the-match.

“But I have to keep my feet on the ground and remind myself time and again that it's just the beginning,” said Aamer, whose match return of 7 for 106 was the best of his career.

Aamer, who comes from the from small town of Gujjar Khan, some 30 kilometres from the capital Islamabad, has risen by leaps and bounds to become Pakistan's spearhead since making his debut during the team's World Twenty20 tournament win in England last year. He took five for 79 in the Melbourne Test in December, prompting experts to compare him with Wasim Akram, who says the rising star is a “cleverer” bowler than he had been as an 18-year-old.

Aamer said such praise spurred him on to take seven wickets at Headingley. “I stand nowhere near Wasim. I have to go a long way to become Wasim Akram but his words were very encouraging.” Australia captain Ricky Ponting heaped praise on him, saying, “Aamer continues to improve. I think he's not only got good pace and the ability to swing the ball but I think he actually thinks about the game really smartly as well.”