Siddle backs Oz to perform if bowls first

Sydney: Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle has backed his side to perform well if they bowl first in the Brisbane Test of the winter Ashes, despite the `ghosts of 2002`, when then-England captain Nasser Hussain won the toss, sent the Australians in and ended up on the wrong end of a day-one stumps score that read 2-364.

Since 1989, the start of Australia`s undefeated run in Brisbane, the home side has opted to bowl successfully four times after winning the toss, and the last time Australia sent in a touring side at the Gabba was in November 2000, when they defeated the West Indies.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, although neither side is likely to chance their arm should they win the toss, however, Siddle gave his most optimistic outlook, saying that he had no doubt the Australians could be successful if Clarke sent England in to bat for the first Test of the summer.

The report mentioned that the Gabba pitch remains one of the more popular Test wickets as it can provide a bounty of wickets if the conditions suit on the opening morning, with the swing, seam and bounce exposed, although on the flip side, the benefits with the bat are often worth the wait if the top order can linger until the ball no longer glimmers.

However, neither Australian skipper Michael Clarke nor his English counterpart Alistair Cook are likely to go against conventional wisdom if their side of the coin faces the sky, with Siddle saying that the conditions and wickets will play a part in the coin- toss.

The report mentioned that if Clarke captained Australia`s first Test loss in Brisbane for 25 years, after tempting fate by bowling first, it would be nigh on disastrous.