Aussie fast bowler Peter Siddle accepts the home series against Pakistan in December is a ‘big challenge’. Now, Pakistan is No. 1 in the world Test rankings following the 2-2 draw against England, Siddle believes that they are better equipped to improve their record in a county where they have won only four Test matches.
“I think people probably didn’t think that much about Pakistan coming out here this summer, but you look at their performances in England on wickets, not quite the same as here, but similar, and they’ve played well,” Siddle told.
“So with South Africa for three Tests, and Pakistan for three Tests, it’s a big summer for us and one where we have to play some good cricket to get back that number one mantle,” he added.
Siddle admits that Pakistan have got the right set of pacers to thrive in Australian conditions and also praised their ‘consistent cricket’ over the last one year. “They’ve got some star players but they’ve been a lot more consistent with the sides they’re putting out there – they’re not chopping and changing and I think that’s where they’ve missed out in the past,” he said.
“At the moment it looks like they’ve got a pretty settled group of 13, 14 players that they go with. With a couple of injuries to bowlers, they’ve had bowlers come in and perform well, so that’s exciting for them,” he told.
“I think their squad will be suited to Australian conditions, probably more so than in the past. They’ve got explosive players who can take the game away from you, and they’ve got a good assortment of quicks at the moment, ” Siddle added.
Apart from the seamers, Siddle is also aware of the threat possessed by legspinner Yasir Shah, who has already picked up 95 wickets in 16 Tests. Even though spinners have traditionally found it tough to deliver on a consistent basis in Australia, the fact that Yasir made a difference with the ball in his side’s victories in England will keep the home side on their toes after their recent struggles against spin.
“They’ve got a class spinner, Yasir Shah, he’s unbelievable,” he noted. “He’s got a great record and he’s approaching 100 wickets at the quickest rate. The great Shane Warne has worked with him a little bit and has talked up how good he is. Then you’ve got the old heads, Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, just to hold that middle-order together.”