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Ponting backs struggling Siddle
Australian captain Ricky Ponting has thrown his support behind struggling quick Peter Siddle.
Ponting said that he is not concerned by the Victorian paceman's lack of wickets.
Siddle will come under increased pressure to keep his spot if Ben Hilfenhaus is available for the upcoming tour of New Zealand after taking just six wickets in five Tests so far this summer at an average of just under 70.
Despite playing a matchwinning role with the bat in Australia's thrilling comeback win in the Sydney Test - which clinched the series against Pakistan - Siddle will be looking for wickets when third and final Test starts at Bellerive Oval on Thursday.
But Ponting on Wednesday said Siddle's contribution with the ball this summer should not be judged by wickets alone.
"I am not worried about the wicket column next to his name," Ponting said as the Australians rounded off their preparations with a net session at Bellerive.
"What he is doing at the moment is forming part of a really good bowling attack. That is one thing I have stressed with the selectors in the last couple of years - that it's about making sure we pick an attack and not just look at the next best bowler that is going around the scene."
Ponting believes Siddle's tireless work this summer has enabled his fellow quicks Doug Bollinger and Mitchell Johnson and much improved off-spinner Nathan Hauritz to pick up wickets at his expense.
"It's important the bowlers in the line-up really complement each other well and I think he is doing that," Ponting said.
"With Dougie and Mitch having picked up wickets and with Hauritz going really well in the last couple of games, Sids has had to do the really bullocking work and just charge in from one end and keep the run rate down and not attack too much."
However Ponting also said Siddle has bowled without luck for much of this summer.
"It could have been a different story last week," he said of the Sydney Test when Siddle was barely used in the second innings as Australia bowled Pakistan out for 139 to pull off a remarkable series-clinching win after having trailed by more than 200 runs in the first innings.
"He had a chance put down at first slip early on in Sydney and that could have changed things for him but what he has been able to do is still bowl consistently well and bowl good spells and what that does is make life easier for the guys he is bowling in tandem with.
"Bowling, like batting in our team, is all about partnerships and he has been able to form good partnerships for us and if he keeps doing that then there is no doubt things will change for him."
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