India in Australia 2011-12 December 30, 2011

Applying constant pressure worked, says Siddle


Peter Siddle is confident Australia's pace attack can stay on top of India's experienced batting line-up if they maintain the constant pressure they built up in the first Test in Melbourne. Together Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and the Man of the Match, James Pattinson, entered the Test with 160 Test wickets to their names, and bowled against an Indian side with a world-record aggregate of 53,560 Test runs, including the two highest Test run-scorers of all time: Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.

That none of India's batsmen scored a half-century in the fourth innings of the match, when they were chasing 292, was a credit to Australia's bowlers, who sent down enough bouncers to keep the batsmen guessing, but generally worked on consistently probing lengths. Siddle said a lack of footwork by some of India's batsmen showed their plans had paid off.

"I think it's probably the pressure we built that was a bit of the cause of that," Siddle said. "The short bowling to give them a bit of pressure, get them mixed up, that paid off at the start. That helps with giving them a problem in terms of moving their feet. It can go either way, but I think the pressure that we built up from both ends consistently helped."

Siddle finished with match figures of 6 for 105 at the MCG and in both innings picked up the wicket of Tendulkar, who top scored in the first with 73 and in the second with 32. Tendulkar was the first man Siddle ever dismissed in Test cricket, on debut in Mohali in 2008, and he has now claimed his wicket three times from the only two Tests in which he has bowled to Tendulkar.

"Both dismissals [in Melbourne] were totally different, one was bowled and the other one was caught, it was a bit wider," Siddle said. "There's no big secret to it. I was lucky enough that I bowled a couple of good balls before that and put a bit of pressure on and got the wicket. It just comes down to being patient. As a unit, we've done that. We've stuck together well, we've bowled long spells and been consistent and that's how we got most of our wickets."

All three of the fast men maintained that pressure and were rewarded. Pattinson collected 6 for 108 and his delivery that sneaked through the defence of Rahul Dravid in the second innings was a key moment as India's chase faltered. Siddle said Pattinson, his club-mate at Dandenong, brought energy to the side and helped lift his team-mates in the field with his passion and aggression.

"I've grown up with him. I've known him since he was nine or ten. He's like a little brother. It's amazing to be able to play with him, and to play in a Boxing Day Test at home, home crowd and all that, it was a great pleasure to be out there and just to watch the way he goes about it. He's vibrant, he loves getting out there, he's excited. To play alongside him and see both of us going well at the moment is good."

The other member of the pace attack, Hilfenhaus, managed his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket, and must have been strongly considered for the Man-of-the-Match award, picking up 7 for 114 in the game. He was rewarded for rebuilding his action during the winter; he now bowls from wider on the crease, swings the ball later and has clearly improved after an Ashes campaign last summer in which he took only seven wickets.

"I hadn't actually seen him too much [since the Ashes] until this match," Siddle said. "The way he came out and played and to get his first five-for was outstanding. It's always been a key to his game, but the consistency with his lines and the pressure he builds from that one end was amazing.

"To bowl into the wind, he always gets the hard jobs. But the effort in pushing up into that breeze the whole match and building the pressure from that end, it did help me and Jimmy from the other end. We could have quick bursts and try and bowl fast. That paid off in the end."

There is a slim chance the trio might be joined by Ryan Harris in the Sydney Test, which begins on January 3, after he was named in the 12-man squad. However, the offspinner Nathan Lyon is expected to hold on to his spot as Australia are usually reluctant to enter a Sydney Test without a spinner, although it might be something they consider in the third Test in Perth.

"It can go both ways," Siddle said about going in with four quicks. "I've played in times like Perth [in the Ashes last year] where it's worked well and then I played in The Oval Test match when it didn't work well for us. It can go either way. It just depends on the day, it depends what the selectors are thinking at the time. There's still a lot of time left to look at the wicket before we know which way we'll go."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • RandyOZ on January 1, 2012, 10:54 GMT

    @whitesXI - check and mate.

  • dummy4fb on January 1, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    Any of you guys want to know the result of this series....??? 2tests to 1 in favour of india. Just dont ask me how ..but thats the result going to be....

  • zenboomerang on January 1, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    @Nampally... Agree, both teams lost important batsmen at critical times in the game to bad umpiring decisions... I still think that DRS should be used & umpires automatically review all close decisions without the captains instigating a review - it makes umpires look foolish... The 'run out' & lbw cameras now run at 1,000 frames / second - twice last years speed & this DRS method has been in use for 15 years without controversy once it was being used everywhere...

  • dummy4fb on January 1, 2012, 1:45 GMT

    I have seen a lot of comments where people have already announced the results of this series. The big problem is people have forgotten the fact that india have always been slow starters. I still remember last time india came with a much weaker attack and before the perth test every one wrote off the indians. The fastest pitch for bowlers in this world is at waca. India smashed Australia even though they were 2-0 down after third grade umpiring at sydney. This same team and captain smashed Australia in world cup quarter finals and won the world cup convincingly beating all the teams. When chips are down real supporters stand up and back their teams. I am quite confident india will bounce back and play good cricket at Sydney. Aussies should be more worried about their batting collapses than worry about sachin, dravid and laxman playing fast bowling.

  • Nampally on December 31, 2011, 21:37 GMT

    @da_man_: Perhaps you are right. One of the cricinfo reports said that Hussey was OUT twice LBW & once caught behind down the leg side in his innings of 89. Ponting was out once LBW to ZAK with his score at 15 - went to score 60.These conclusions are from Hawk eye & Umpire gave all these Not Out. These 2 guys came in with score at 30 for 4 wkts. Also Ashwin was adjudged LBW which replay showed him not out.Hussey was given caught behind in the first which was not out. But if DRS was in place just for LBW's alone, the match would have ended in favour of Indian Victory. So India are the real losers due to DRS not being in place.Who is to blame for this? BCCI,Indian team & Dhoni, who still does not want even limited DRS!.Umpires always make many mistakes. Technology is far more reliable any day.

  • bombay4u on December 31, 2011, 21:02 GMT

    Siddle needs to be reminded that hardly any Australian batsman was amog 3 figure runs agains two bowlers coming back from injury and two playing almost thier first test so stop saying that indias batting is week, just look into the mirror in the australian dressing room, the difference of 120 run defeat is not very large. Couple of indian batsman needs to try and stick around and it will be a diferent story. We need to attach australia systematically whenever possible not take defensive approcah like Dhoni often does.. Get Rid of " GAMBHIR" Please wake up he is out of form, dont play him, Let Dravid open and also Rohit to play in Sydney. Dhoni and Zaheer needs to take thier batting seriously.

  • hhillbumper on December 31, 2011, 18:42 GMT

    Jonesey 2= Anderson wouldn't get a place in NSW backups. God mate how bad must your team be then to get rolled by a second class bowler. Lets see how good the Aus team are next time they come to UK.Having lost last two series over here we really look forward to the greatest team ever visiting.

  • whitesXI on December 31, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    @spence1324 - I think you've got that backwards mate. Eng have only started bowling with discipline and tactics under the guidance of the bowling coach Staker who is an Aussie.

  • jonesy2 on December 31, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    yeah ok i forgot about steyn and harris. anderson? hahaha he wouldnt get a place in the NSW second XI

  • .Raina on December 31, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    It will be difficult to build up similar amount of pressure on the Indian batsmen at Sydney. Historically IND have had a good record here and have come close to winning atleast twice in the last decade (only undone by some 'out-of-world' umpiring), and against much better AUS Teams. It would be very difficult for Hilfi & Pattinson to be effective after their first spells here. They don't have much variations and could become highly predictable when the ball loses shine and with non-supportive conditions. It may be more of a 'better batsmen' game than a 'better bowlers' game here in SYD. IND need to get-in Rohit to strengthen their batting, and AUS need to get-in Dan Christian, somehow. The game should see-saw like at MCG.... looking forward to an exciting game ahead.....

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