India must face pace: Siddle

THREE quarters of the wickets during England's historic series win in India recently fell to spin, but Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle is predicting a pace-led quest for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

As the first group of Test players left for Chennai on Thursday, Siddle said Australia must play to its strength to replicate the series success of 2004, which was built around disciplined fast bowling.

In the pace contingent of Siddle, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc, he believes Australia has the artillery to repeat the efforts of Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Michael Kasprowicz in 2004. Shane Warne was relegated to a support role.

That series win, under acting captain Adam Gilchrist, remains Australia's only series win in India in almost four decades.

The 17-man squad for this campaign means the attack could take different forms, but Siddle is adamant the Australians can topple India's batsmen in their own conditions. He and Mitchell Johnson are the only bowlers with Test experience in India.

''The best way of attacking India is with whatever your best line-up is,'' Siddle said.

''The way we've won Test matches for years now has been with our pace and I think that is going to play a big role. But Nathan [Lyon] is going to play a big role at the other end, and his game is going to flourish even more with the pressure we build at our end.

''Combined, we'll do well and definitely be able to take 20 wickets. We're strong, we've got a good set of quicks going over and we've got good back-up for Nathan over there with spin.''

The 2004 blueprint was built on attacking the stumps and setting defensive fields, cutting off the boundary options of India's batsmen.

Australia has the option of playing three quicks, a spinner and off-spinning all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, or two quicks, two spinners in Lyon and Xavier Doherty and seam-bowling all-rounder Moises Henriques.

The first of four Tests begins in Chennai on February 22, but eight players - Bird, Ed Cowan, Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Lyon, Pattinson, Siddle and Steve Smith - flew to India on Thursday to begin preparations while the remainder of the squad stayed behind because of limited-overs commitments against the West Indies.

This story India must face pace: Siddle first appeared on WA Today.