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Summer of cricket begins

Our cricket experts preview the first Test between Australia and South Africa at the Gabba.

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Fast bowler Peter Siddle believes his Australian pace cohorts will be spoken of just as highly as their vaunted South African rivals this summer.

The tourists' pace trio of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel is widely regarded as one of the best fast-bowling line-ups in world cricket for many years.

But Siddle is confident Australia has more than enough ammunition in he, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc to undo the Proteas' batsmen.

Australian paceman Peter Siddle.

Australian paceman Peter Siddle. Photo: Getty Images

He says the situation facing Australia's quicks is no different to last summer when they embarrassed an ageing but statistically world-class Indian line-up.

"India coming out here, at the time, although they'd aged a little bit their batting line-up was just as strong as South Africa's and we stuck it to them," Siddle said.

"It was just about the belief in the bowling unit that we have ... we can definitely contend with anyone in the world.

"They've (South Africa) got the record under their belt. They've played for a little bit longer and might be a bit more experienced than our line-up at the moment ... but I think we can put it up to them this summer, we can match them, definitely.

"By the end of it we can be reaching some of the heights where they're at right now."

Young gun Pattinson made a blistering start to his Test career at the Gabba last year, claiming eight wickets in his debut match - the same haul Philander had managed on debut a month before against Australia in Cape Town.

Since then Philander has raced to 63 wickets in his first 10 Tests while Pattinson's progress has stalled somewhat following a series of injuries.

But the 22-year-old Victorian said he was back to full fitness and itching to once again tear in on a helpful Gabba pitch.

"Everything's been flying over the last month," Pattinson said.

"Got exactly the right preparation I wanted leading into the first Test ... absolutely at the moment I'm going well.

"We probably are the underdogs in this game coming up against the number one team in the world who have been playing great cricket against everyone.

"Going into it we're all full of confidence, there's a great sense of self-belief in the team and it's a fantastic place to be."

AAP