IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

Sydney will play on their minds - Siddle


siddlePeter Siddle is confident the mental scars inflicted on Pakistan after their shattering loss in Sydney will give Australia a distinct advantage for the final Test in Hobart. Australia are searching for a 3-0 series victory, which would give them their most wins in a home summer since the 2006-07 Ashes clean-sweep.

On the fourth morning at the SCG they looked almost certain to lose, until Siddle and Michael Hussey staged a tail-end fightback and Pakistan crumbled 36 runs short of their small target. Siddle said he had no doubt the incredible turnaround would affect the thinking of the Pakistan players when the third Test begins next Thursday.

“Coming from a stage where they were in the first innings 200 runs in front, it’s a big lead and obviously it’s a good opportunity for them to beat a side like Australia,” Siddle said in Melbourne on Friday. “For us to fight back and put a lot of pressure on them, with bat at the end there and obviously with the ball, the way Hauritz and Mitchell Johnson especially attacked them … it’s definitely going to hurt them and definitely going to play on their minds a lot coming in to Hobart.”

In the wash-up from Sydney, the PCB expressed its “utmost concern” over the team’s effort and rushed the wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed to Hobart to take the gloves from Kamran Akmal. His performance at the SCG was poor; he dropped four catches and missed a run-out and his spilled opportunities were instrumental in allowing Australia back in the game.

Although Pakistan’s slipshod fielding and defensive tactics on the fourth morning contributed to their defeat, their batsmen have also come under fire for falling to overly aggressive shots in their chase of 176. Siddle said the Australian bowlers knew opportunities would come against Pakistan due to their attacking approach.

“They’ve done well in the short form of the game with the way they’ve played their cricket,” he said. “I think that’s their downfall in Test cricket, they play a bit aggressively and do come at you. At times it does pay off for them. Umar Akmal has come at us a few times and scored quickly and scored well, so it is something that does help them but is a massive weakness for them as well.”

While Pakistan must improve in Hobart, Siddle himself is also keen to lift his output. He has struggled for impact with the ball this summer and has taken six wickets in four Tests at an average of 68.33, which looks especially stark compared to the record of his peers.

In the same period, Mitchell Johnson has collected 28 wickets, Doug Bollinger has 24, Nathan Hauritz has 23 and Shane Watson has taken 11. The ongoing absence of Ben Hilfenhaus due to a knee problem has given Siddle some breathing space but he said he did not feel any added pressure in order to keep his place whenever Hilfenhaus returns.

“If I keep worrying about the wickets, that’s when they definitely won’t come,” Siddle said. “It’s coming out well. I’m confident that it will turn around. I’ve just got to keep going out there and doing the right things from my end and hopefully in the next game or so it can be my turn to take that bag.”

At least he’s in good touch with the bat. Siddle’s three-and-a-half-hour innings of 38 in Sydney was a major factor in Australia’s comeback as he and Hussey put on 123 for the ninth wicket. He said he always enjoyed his batting and relished the chance to spend so long at the crease.

“It was good fun the other day, being out there with Mike, just with what we could do and how we could help win that Test match was very pleasing,” he said. “I probably get more nervous going out there to bowl when I should be getting nervous to bat. I enjoy going out there and having a hit around and to get the opportunity to spend that much time out in the middle and to have a lot of fun at the same time, it was a great time.”
Source:Cricket News

Image Source:Cricinfo

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