Aamer ‘cleverer than I was at 18’: Wasim

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Aamer ‘cleverer than I was at 18’:  Wasim

Pakistan's Wasim Akram believes new pace sensation Mohammad Aamer is “much cleverer than I was at 18” after watching the teenage quick’s latest impressive Test display.

By (AFP)

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Published: Thu 15 Jul 2010, 2:38 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:32 AM

Aamer, like Wasim a left-arm seamer, took four wickets for 72 runs as he led Pakistan’s attack in the ongoing first Test against Australia here at Lord’s in his first Test at the ‘home of cricket’.

After seeing Aamer wrap up Australia’s first innings on Wednesday by bowling tailender Doug Bollinger with an inswinging yorker, an admiring Wasim told AFP: “It was exciting to watch Aamer bowl so well at Lord’s.

“He is a special talent and has pace, nip and can swing the ball both ways which is ideal for a paceman, and augurs well for his future,.

Aamer has risen by leaps and bounds to become Pakistan’s spearhead since making his debut last year and served further notice of his enormous potential with another impressive display at Lord’s.

His efforts, ably supported by pace partner Mohammad Asif (three for 63), helped a new-look Pakistan team dismiss Australia for 253 on the second day of the first of two Tests that have both been moved to England because of security fears in Pakistan.

The 18-year-old Aamer’s pace, swing and exuberance have already led experts to compare Aamer with Wasim, widely regarded as the best left-arm fast bowler ever to have played international cricket.

But Wasim said Aamer was already ahead of him in one respect.

“He is much cleverer than when I was 18,” said Wasim who took ten wickets in his only second Test, against New Zealand at Dunedin in 1984.

“Aamer has got a head start and is a quick learner, so I see no reason why he can’t go on to become a leading fast bowler.

“He is already spearheading the Pakistan pace attack and watching him bowl (on Tuesday), everything pitched up, banging in every delivery and testing the best batsmen in the world excited me no end.”

Wasim though advised Aamer to bowl closer to the stumps.

“What I noticed at Lord’s and in the series in Australia (wrapped up earlier this year where Aamer starred despite Pakistan’s 3-0 Test campaign defeat) is that he bowls wide of the crease.

“That may help the ball to come in (to right handers), but on slower tracks it won’t work, so he needs to bowl closer to the stumps,” Wasim explained.

“Some people say his physique is not that of a fast bowler, but he is only 18. He can strengthen his muscles with time and I am sure he will spend more time in the gym,” said Wasim, who took 414 Test and 502 one-day wickets — both Pakistani records.

“I have not seen him recently but I’m always happy to meet him and pass on a few tips.”

Wasim hoped Aamer’s experience of England pitches with the Pakistan Under-19 team in 2007 would come in handy.

“Aamer took quite a few wickets when he toured England with the Under-19 team in 2007, so I think he will be very useful on this tour, with four Tests against England as well, and lead Pakistan to wins.”

Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja also praised Aamer’s progress.

“I think Aamer is more mature than Wasim at 18,” said Raja, in England as a television commentator. “Aamer’s progress augurs well for Pakistan and I hope he continues to work hard and take the Pakistan team forward.”

Aamer was on Wednesday warned about his future conduct by match referee Chris Broad after he collided with Australia captain Ricky Ponting while celebrating his wicket in the first Test at Lord’s.

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