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Step on the gas from the start: Arthur

Brisbane, Nov 14, 2012, Reuters:

Australia move on to the second Test against South Africa charged with renewed belief they can win the three-match series but coach Mickey Arthur has warned his team they cannot afford another slow start.

The Gabba Test may have ended in a draw on Tuesday but Australia will take great confidence from the fact that, after a poor start, they outscored South Africa with the bat and twice removed their top order on a flat Brisbane wicket.

They will certainly view the number one ranked team in Test cricket through different eyes after dominating them for two days but Arthur, once the Proteas coach, said his former charges would rebound.

"There's no doubting their ability, no doubting the quality of that South African side, they're going to be on song come Adelaide, no doubt about it," he told reporters after the Test. "Against a really good side like South Africa, you've got to be on the money from the very first ball. We probably weren't and that's something we'll address going into Adelaide."

Australia might even be able to bolster their inexperienced top order with the return of all rounder Shane Watson from injury, even if he was unable to bowl. "Watto has had two nets, he had a bit of a run today and he came through that well, he's having a bowl on Friday. We'll see early next week how that's going," said Arthur.

"We'll have to sit down and consider what we think is the best eleven going into that Adelaide Test and Shane would come into a huge amount of consideration for that," said Arthur. "He's a quality player, he's an international brand. If Shane Watson was fit, we'd have to definitely consider (playing him as a specialist batsman)."

Australia disappointed with the ball on the first day at the Gabba and Ben Hilfenhaus's place in the attack might be under threat from left-armer Mitchell Starc for the Adelaide Test that starts on Nov 22.

While James Pattinson led the Australian charge and Peter Siddle looked dangerous at times, Hilfenhaus only claimed the wickets of two tailenders despite taking the new ball in both innings.


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