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Steve warns of WACA bounce

Melbourne: Australian Test captain Steve Waugh warned Zimbabwe’s batsmen on Tuesday that they could get hurt in next week’s first Test in Perth.

The Africans, ranked ninth in the International Cricket Council’s Test Championship, will face the world’s top-ranked team on a bouncy Perth wicket.

The WACA pitch is famous for forcing touring batsmen to duck and weave against the Australia pace attack led by Jason Gillespie, Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath.

“Perth is a bouncy wicket. It’s unique in world cricket and there is always a chance somebody is going to get hurt over there,” Waugh was quoted as saying in Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper on Tuesday.

“That was a fierce contest against England (in December last year). There is always that danger in Perth.”

Lee bowled a bouncer in the 2002-03 third Ashes Test in Perth which floored England tailender Alex Tudor, who received six stitches above his left eye.

“You have to be courageous to score runs in Perth,” Waugh added. “That’s the nature of the pitch. That’s why it’s a great place to play because it tests you out over there.”

Waugh made a similar comment before the England Test, saying it would take great courage to make a big score in Perth.

Waugh is Test cricket’s most-capped player and second-leading run-scorer with 10,521 runs (32 centuries) at 51.07 from 162 matches.

The 38-year-old has hit centuries at all Australia’s current Test venues except for Perth. Waugh’s highest score in his 14 Tests at the WACA is 99 not out in the fifth Test against England in 1994-95. The first Test against Zimbabwe starts in Perth on October 9. The second and final Test will be played in Sydney from October 17.

Australia will name their squad for the first Test on Wednesday.

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