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Last Updated: Monday, 20 December, 2004, 13:36 GMT
Happy to wear badges of honour
Justin Langer
By Justin Langer
Australian Test batsman

Justin Langer
Batting was not comfortable against Shoaib and Sami at the Waca
The Russian-born Australian boxing world champion Kostya Tszyu has been known to call his black eyes and bruises nothing but badges of honour after his world title fights.

He has said that he would expect nothing less than a black eye or two when fighting for his cherished title belts.

After the first Test at my home ground, the Waca here in Perth, it would be fair to say Shoaib Akthar and Mohammad Sami have left me with more badges of honour than I have received from any other bowling attack for a long time.

Sure, I did score 191 and 97 and even scooped the man-of-the-match award.

But the right side of my body from my ankle to the top of my shoulder is splattered with black and blue markings inflicted by a number of menacing deliveries from Pakistan's fast bowling duo.

Like no other ground in the world the extra pace and bounce takes time to get used to, even for a player like me who has played here for the last 13 or 14 years.

While the Waca is a wonderful surface to bat on after you have adapted to the foreign conditions, you can almost guarantee more body blows than usual because of that extra bounce and pace.

Pakistan will will have to dig deep into their spirit and soul to come back fighting in Melbourne
Predictably Shoaib and Sami were intimidating throughout the game, especially on the first morning when they had us reeling at 74-5.

Like New Zealand a couple of weeks ago, Pakistan were on a high and looking like they could cause a first Test upset. We were right on the back foot and wondering where we were going to score our next runs.

Thankfully, as has become the norm, Adam Gilchrist strode to the crease and exerted his normal brilliance on the game, leaving Pakistan dumb-struck and wondering where their momentum had gone.

Within an hour, the impetus had changed and we were back on a path of demolition which was too much for our young opponents.

With much speculation looming about his place in the team in front of speed star Brett Lee, Michael Kasprowicz proved once again why he is such an integral part of our success as he took 5-30 in Pakistan's 179 all out against our 381.

With Kasper taking five wickets in the first innings he was masterfully outdone in the second, by Glenn McGrath, who continues to defy the critics.

Australian fats bowlers Glenn McGrath and Michael Kaprowicz
McGrath and Kasprowciz were outstanding against Pakistan
He took eight Pakistani wickets on the fourth morning to rip the heart out of Pakistan's second innings, bowling with the same pace, bounce and precision that he had at his peak a couple of years ago.

Pakistan had no answers to Glenn's pressure and by lunch on day four we were celebrating a first Test victory for this series.

As for the tourists, unless they can find some answers over the next week, their confidence and belief is sure to continue to take a battering over the next two Tests in Melbourne and Sydney.

There is no doubt the next two venues should suit Pakistan's style of play more than the Waca does, but they will know they will have to dig deep into their spirit and soul to come back fighting in Melbourne.

From Perth,

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