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Ricky right behind Sid

Aussie skipper puts backing behind Siddle despite lack of wickets

Backing: Ponting backing Siddle

Ricky Ponting insists he is not concerned by Peter Siddle's lack of wickets of late, after backing the paceman's contribution to the Test team.

Siddle has just six wickets in five Tests so far this summer at an average of just under 70, and his place for the upcoming tour of New Zealand could be in jeopardy.

The availability of Ben Hilfenhaus to face the Black Caps could be a big factor in Siddle's place in the team, but Ponting has offered his support behind the Victorian seamer.

Siddle will be looking for wickets when third and final Test against Pakistan starts at Bellerive Oval on Thursday, after he starred with the bat in Australia's thrilling comeback win in the Sydney Test - which clinched the series.

Ponting said Siddle's contribution with the ball this summer should not be judged by wickets alone.

No worries

"I am not worried about the wicket column next to his name," Ponting said. "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."

No luck

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."