Pakistan pacemen to provide sterner test - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pakistan pacemen to provide sterner test

By Sam Lienert 30/11/2004 06:05:11 PM Comments (0)

Bring on Pakistan.

Fresh from a two-Test demolition job of outclassed New Zealand, the summer's curtain-raiser, Australian captain Ricky Ponting is relishing the prospect of a genuine challenge.

That will come in the form of a showdown between Australia's world-class batting line-up and a Pakistan pace battery led by showy speedster Shoaib Akhtar, in a three-Test series starting in Perth next month.

"We've played on two pretty good batting surfaces over the last couple of weeks in these Test matches and we're going to have a fast bouncy one in Perth, I'm sure, against two of the fastest bowlers in the world (Shoaib and Mohammad Sami)," Ponting said.

"They're very dangerous, in more ways than one I guess, and it's up to all the batsmen to make sure they're nice and sharp and ready for that challenge.

"We've had a lot of success against Pakistan over the last few years, probably the batting group in particular have done pretty well against them, so it will be a great challenge.

"It's really exciting Test cricket that, when you go to Perth and see the fast bowlers running in off their long runs, there'll be plenty of bouncers flying around, plenty of shots played I guess as well, so it should be some good cricket to watch."

Shoaib and Sami are among the top three fastest bowlers in world cricket.

However, their success against Australia has so far been limited.

Ponting said Pakistan was an unpredictable young side and the chance for the Australians to resume their rivalry with Shoaib was particularly enticing.

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