Pakistan mentally shot - Siddle
Peter Siddle believes Pakistan face a near impossible task to recover from their Sydney defeat in the final Test.
Last Updated: 08/01/10 10:42am
Australia fast bowler Peter Siddle thinks Pakistan face a near impossible task to recover from their Sydney disappointment in the final Test of the series, starting in Hobart on January 14.
The tourists had the Australians on their knees in the second innings of the second Test at eight-down with a lead of just 51 runs overall before Michael Hussey - who was dropped three times by keeper Kamran Akmal - and Siddle combined for a ninth-wicket stand of 123.
Even then, Pakistan should have made quick work of the 176 required for victory but crumbled to fall 36 runs short.
"Coming from a stage where they were, first innings, 200 runs in front, that was a big lead and obviously a good opportunity for them to beat a side like Australia," said Siddle.
"For us to fight back and put a lot of pressure on them with the bat at the end and obviously with the ball the way (Nathan) 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 into Hobart."
Siddle said a lack of exposure to Test match conditions over the past couple of years may have hurt the Pakistanis, whose batsmen in particular have found it difficult to shake an attacking mindset.
"They've done well in the short forms of the game and ... probably that's their downfall in Test cricket - they play a bit aggressively and come at you," he added.
"At times it does pay off for them - young Umar Akmal has come at us a few times and has scored quickly and scored well.
"It is something that does help them but obviously it's a massive weakness for them as well."
Meanwhile, Siddle revealed he has opted against playing in the 2010 edition of the Indian Premier League in order to concentrate on international duty.
The 25-year-old had been among the initial nominees for the IPL auction of uncontracted players to be conducted later in January, but his name was missing from an amended final list.
"The offer was there to go over, but my decision at the moment is to give this year a miss and concentrate on trying to play as much cricket as I can for Australia," he explained.
"That's my number one goal and that's what I want to do. It's a big couple of years coming up and I want to try and play every form and play every game - that's my main aim at the moment."
Siddle was showing signs of burnout when sent home early from the ODI tour of India in November after more than six months on the road as a key figure in Australia's push for the Ashes and Champions Trophy in South Africa followed by Victoria's Twenty20 Champions League campaign.
He's failed so far this summer to reproduce the wicket-taking form of his breakout season in 2009-10 and wants to be at his best for next summer when Australia will be bidding to win back the Ashes.
Siddle said his decision to withdraw his nomination for the IPL, which runs from March 12 to April 25, was not sudden but arrived at after several months of consideration.
"In the schedule that we've got it's just a good time to be able to rest up, get the body fully fit and have a normal pre-season to get ready for the big six months that we have after (the tour of) New Zealand," he said.
"That's my decision at the moment and that's the way I feel like going.
"All that preparation and lead time coming into the Ashes is going to be a good ... so if I can be fully fit, get the body right and do everything right before then, that's what I'm looking to do."
Asked whether he had any misgivings about foregoing a potentially big payday, Siddle countered: "It's a lot of money, but the toughest decision is missing a game for Australia.
"That's the toughest decision and I don't want to do that.
"It was bad enough missing that one Test in Perth and I don't want to miss any more games for Australia and that's what I think is the best way to go.
"Every match for Australia, whether it's a twenty20, one-dayer or a Test match, you want to be involved in."