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Australia’s main target is to neutralise Yasir Shah, says Peter Siddle

Leg-break googly bowler Yasir, along with slow left-arm orthodox bowler Zulfiqar Babar decimated Australia the last time they toured the UAE.

Peter Siddle
Peter Siddle. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Even while Pakistan struggled to produce their best in the ongoing Asia Cup, Australia, who will play them next in a bilateral series in the UAE are not sparing any effort as preparation. Tim Paine’s side has called on two domestic spinners from India for practice ahead of the first Test starting October 7 and it also aims to neutralise leg-spinner Yasir Shah in the series to increase their winning chances.

Pakistan spinners demolished Aussies in 2014-15 series

Leg-break googly bowler Yasir, along with slow left-arm orthodox bowler Zulfiqar Babar decimated Australia the last time they toured the UAE to play Pakistan in a Test series. In that series that Pakistan won 2-0, as many as 26 wickets were taken by Yasir-Babar duo.

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“He’s (Yasir) going to play a big part. Spin bowling in this series is going to play a massive part. I think it’s going to be a tough contest. He bowled well against us last series over here. He took a lot of wickets, so I think it’s going to be number one plan to keep him out,” Australian pace bowler Peter Siddle, 33, who also played the 2014-15 series, was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz. Owner of 211 Test wickets, Siddle has made a comeback to the Australian national side after almost two years.

What is even more concerning for Australia is that they don’t have their two frontline batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner in their ranks this time. Warner was their highest scorer in that Test series with 239 runs.

Pakistan though don’t have Babar this time around but he could be replaced by 19-year-old Shadab Khan to pair up with Yasir. The latter has 165 wickets in 28 Test matches so far at an average of 29.44. He picked up 12 scalps in the 2014-15 series at an average of 17.25.

The touring side has called on two domestic spinners from India – Pardeep Sahu and K Jiyas – to ensure that the Australian batsmen get adequate practice ahead of the Test series. Some of their players also featured in an A series in India recently and Siddle believes these give them an ideal preparation for the Pakistan series.

“So we’ve got a contest against those two guys, and having good discussions about different deliveries, what to watch, I think it’s been good for us tailenders as well to hear from different batters, the way they go about it, the way they watch the ball,” he said.

Australia will also play three T20Is against Pakistan after the Test series gets over.

For all the latest cricket news and other updates follow CricTracker.

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