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Border's challenge to Aussie middle order

AAP logoAAP 14/12/2016 Darren Walton

Cricket great Allan Border is challenging Australia's greenhorn middle order to step up and stamp their authority in the first Test at the Gabba.

While he believes the tourists' battling line-up will be vulnerable in the sticky conditions in Brisbane, Border says Pakistan's pace attack led by Mohammad Amir poses a danger.

Australia's middle order has been particularly brittle in recent times and the former captain and selector says the likes of Test rookies Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson and recalled keeper Matthew Wade can't afford to collectively flop.

"Young players, inexperienced players and, look, (Pakistan), they're a good bowling attack," Border said on Fox Sports' Inside Cricket.

"That's where we need them to step up a bit. I was quite impressed with the guys, their performances in Adelaide (in the third Test win over South Africa).

"Handscomb in particular. Nic Maddinson only faced a couple of balls so it's hard to judge, but he's a good player.

"Matty Wade coming in at seven, we just need them to start stamping their authority."

Fellow debutant Matt Renshaw copped flak for his slow going in Adelaide, but Border believes the opener will be more comfortable on his home pitch in Brisbane and will thrive alongside David Warner and Usman Khwaja.

"We've got so many good players there that go after the bowling it's good to have a rock there just batting time and the other guys can bat around that," Border said.

Australian selector Mark Waugh agrees.

"I don't think he's a slow player by nature. I mean, he scored very quickly in a Shield match where he made a 150 against South Australia," Waugh said.

"He's just got to play the conditions and how they're bowling. If they're bowling well, you've got to be patient. If they're bowling badly, you've got to be ready to put the bad ball away.

"That's what he's got to do; keep it simple.

"If he can get in the slipstream of David Warner ... If you're batting with someone who's scoring really quickly at the other end, you sort of tend to score quickly without even noticing."

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