Proteas are ripe for the picking

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iol spt jan7 Warner Getty Images Australia plan to use intimidatory tactics in next month's tour of South Africa, opening batsman David Warner said. Photo by: Ryan Pierse

Sydney – Australia plan to use the same intimidatory tactics that unravelled England in next month's tour of South Africa, opening batsman David Warner said on Tuesday.

Warner claims members of South Africa's top-ranked team are “on the back foot as players” and will miss newly-retired Jacques Kallis in the three-Test tour in the republic.

He said a combination of sledging and thunderbolts from express paceman Mitchell Johnson unhinged England's experienced batsmen in the Ashes, with Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen all averaging under 30 in the 5-0 series annihilation.

Even though the Proteas feature some of the most established and successful run-scorers in cricket, Warner believes the South Africans are ripe for the picking.

“We know a couple of their blokes are probably on the back foot,” Warner told reporters at a reception for Australia's Ashes team at Sydney's Opera House.

“We've got to work out how to get their players out as well. I know our bowlers are ready to go over there and give it to them.”

He added that sledging would play a part in their approach, but the team would not go too far.

“Apparently I said some rude things on stump mic (microphone) that they couldn't (broadcast during the Ashes), but I don't recall anything,” he said.

“On the field you don't cross that line. We nudged that line a couple of times but I think we really got into their heads.

“Especially with Johno (Johnson) and the pressure of the other bowlers up the other end.”

South Africa are fresh from a 1-0 home victory over world number two India, in a two-match series where Hashim Amla (average 14) was the only star batsman to consistently struggle.

However, Australia sense a vulnerability in the South African ranks following the retirement of all-rounder Kallis.

“It's a big loss for them,” said Warner. “They've counted on him a couple of times when bowlers have been asked to come back in different spells, so it will be interesting to see how they are without him.”

Peter Siddle on Tuesday joined captain Michael Clarke in declaring the Australian fast bowling attack better than South Africa's vaunted trio of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander.

However, he said the challenge now was to prove it.

With Johnson fresh from taking 37 wickets at 13.9 in the Ashes, Siddle said Australia plan to pepper South Africa with another all-out assault.

“I can't see why not. I think the way we've played, we've played like that against them in the past and had success,” he said.

“I think we are (the best attack). It shows through the consistency we've had against England here throughout a five-Test series.

“The way we worked together at different stages broke partnerships and didn't let partnerships get big on us.

“That's what caused all the collapses so that's what we're looking to do over there and it could be a very good year for us if we continue to do that.” – Sapa-AFP



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