LEEDS: 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 second Test 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 told AFP 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," insisted Aamer, whose match return of seven for 106 was the best of his 10-Test career.
Aamer, who comes from the from small town of Gujjar Khan, some 30 kilometres from the capital of 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, still a career-best, in the Melbourne Test in December during Pakistan`s dismal tour of Australia, prompting experts to compare him with Wasim Akram, widely regarded as one of the best ever left-arm fast bowlers.
Aamer`s four for 72 in the first Test against Australia at Lord`s, even prompted Pakistan great Wasim to say the rising star was 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," said Aamer. "I have to go a long way to become Wasim Akram but his words were very encouraging."
Aamer produced a superb, outswinging delivery to have Ricky Ponting caught behind on Friday and it was no surprise to hear the bowler describe the Australia captain`s wicket as one of the best of his short career.
"It was wonderful to get Ponting out because he was threatening to take the game away from us," said Aamer of the batting great who made 66 in Australia`s second innings recovery of 349.
Ponting himself went out of his way to praise Aamer`s cricket intelligence, telling reporters: "Aamer continues to improve.
"I think he`s not only got good pace up his sleeve and the ability to swing the ball but I think he actually thinks about the game really smartly as well. "He seems a lot more mature than what his age would suggest as far as bowling is concerned."
Pakistan now have a short turnaround before taking on England in a Test series starting at Trent Bridge on Thursday and Aamer said: "We still have four Tests to play, so it`s important I keep my form because England will prove tougher opponents than Australia as they know their pitches better."
BDST: 1547hrs, July 25, 2010