Australia v India, 3rd Test, Perth January 10, 2012

Being dropped in Sri Lanka turned things around - Siddle

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Peter Siddle, Australia's rejuvenated fast bowler who's taken 11 wickets in this series at an average of 22.18, has said his being dropped in Sri Lanka turned things around for him. That snub in Sri Lanka last year, he says, made him work harder and come back a better, and more importantly a fitter, bowler.

"I'd like to think so [the fittest he has been]," he said. "I'm feeling good. It's a good change I guess, probably over the last five or six years I've been up and down with injury and had some tough times, but I think the disappointment of getting dropped in Sri Lanka sort of did hit a bit of a spot in me, and I knew I had to work on a few things.

"Ever since then I've been a bit stronger, and bowling well and injury-free. Everything I'm doing at training and in preparation for games is working, so I'll stick to that and hopefully I can keep going well for my team and we keep winning Test matches."

Last week Siddle picked up his 100th Test wicket, into the fourth year of an up-and-down, in-and-out career. "It's obviously a big achievement but I don't want to stop there," he said. "I want to keep taking wickets and whether that's a 110 or a 150 or 300, you never know but at the moment I just want to keep playing Test matches, staying on the park and keep performing well for my team.

"Whenever I retire down, I'll look back on it but at the moment it's all about just keep moving forward each game and hopefully doing enough to keep winning Test matches for Australia."

Sachin Tendulkar - whom he famously described as "Peter Siddle's first wicket" - has been dismissed by Siddle thrice. Two of those dismissals came when Tendulkar looked good for a century. One of them was on Siddle's debut, the other two in the first Test of this series. "I think it's just a plan I'm going with," Siddle said of bowling to Tendulkar. "I'm being a lot more consistent than I have been in the past.

"I'm probably lucky enough I've got him two times in Melbourne, but obviously in Sydney a couple of other blokes got him. We're building the pressure, and whether it's against Sachin or against [Rahul] Dravid, any of their batters, if I can build the pressure and it happens from the other end, we're going to get the breakthrough. There's no big plans in the way we go about it, it's just about all three or four quicks or five bowlers bowling together in those partnerships to create the wickets."

One of the important men of that partnership, James Pattinson, is now out with a foot injury. That shouldn't change things too much, Siddle feels. "Rhino [Ryan Harris] is pretty much an exact replacement," Siddle said. "He's a little bit smaller than Patto, but yeah 145k outswingers isn't a bad bloke to come in and replace him. He's definitely a player that can fill that role perfectly."

Siddle said that even though Harris has not got much first-class cricket under his belt after the injury, he is ready and has been bowling enough overs in the nets "against our batters in a fierce rivalry".

Siddle didn't commit as to whether Australia will play four fast bowlers on this green pitch. "You never know with the wicket," he said. "At the moment it does look good, but we're still a fair few days out. It [four quicks] worked last year for us, but the wicket was pretty green. It was a nice wicket and we were lucky that we batted well enough to give us enough chance with the ball."

Siddle spoke of how tough it can be to face four fast bowlers. "On this ground sometimes, obviously [with] the pace and bounce, if the wicket does suit that it is very tough work," he said. "It's hard, you got the quicks coming at you hard and fast non-stop all day, which does build a lot of pressure. I think if we go that way, and we stick to obviously the consistency and patience that we've had out in the middle, the way we've been building the pressure, I think it can be obviously an exciting time to watch us go about it."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JimDavis on January 13, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    Now that he doesn't have to try and lead the attack, and now that he doesn't have a guy serving pie floaters at close to 50 runs a pop at the other end, we are starting to see the real Peter Siddle. A bowling attack should be made up of 4-5 bowlers who all provide you with something different. Siddle's best as the mad one kept on the leash behind the 2 front line bowlers. If all Australia's bowlers are fit he may not be one of the best 4 individuals, but as part of an attack he does seem to be able to offers something indispensible.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 13, 2012, 3:38 GMT

    Just the way I was worried about Dravid and Siddle, the latter plucks the former. What an agony for me. What a ball from Siddle to create more doubts in the mind of a man whose main mode of dismissal before the start of this test has been bowled. Very well bowled Siddle! Keep it up! Dravid seems to have been definitely rattled. It is now official. He has to crawl out of this hole. Can he? I'm not sure this time.

  • dummy4fb on January 12, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    Good to see some players work on their fitness. Cough Zaheer cough.

  • AidanFX on January 12, 2012, 2:55 GMT

    Siddle trained with AFL club (AFL clubs have gone to elite methods of training) - Clarke went on his own private 'boot camp' - This should set the bar for the entire squad. Expect Siddle to keep performing; the guy has great strength and stamina; to go with it he has great heart. Very much a team orientated guy

  • jezzahh on January 12, 2012, 1:21 GMT

    @Eli Mahendra, yeah I agree. Playing a spinner makes the contest more interesting (unless you've got 4 serious quicks like the Windies way back when). I think Siddle plays a really important role in the team (i.e. building pressure). Though when he's off game, it makes for a very large hole. Lyon is ok and perhaps lacks a bit of class against Indian batsmen etc. But I see him as a long-term prospect and happy he is in the team. For one, he's a good foil for Siddle, and secondly puts the ball in the right areas. Personally, I'd choose Hilf over Siddle if one had to be left out..

  • Beertjie on January 11, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    @Eli Mahendra, there are a couple of talented spinners still learning their trade: Cameron Boyce and O'Keefe. I think the latter is about right to replace Lyon, but sticking with the same guys is an Oz trait, so he'll have to wait. Anyway, like others have written, I too have never been a great fan of Siddle, but I wish him well. Good team man! It's better than having that awful MJ "leading the attack".

  • AidanFX on January 11, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    @ ddrath the lame arguments are typically and predictably familiar - Siddle has been bowling well period! This includes the slower Sydney pitch in the second inns - getting a wicket first over of his spell to dismiss an inform Gambir. But perhaps you should focus on your own team and pray India can find a half decent bowler.

  • dummy4fb on January 11, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    I like this interview . Siddle comes across a good, honest trier whom you can "go to"and he will bowl his guts out for his captain and country. He did not knock the opposition or say brash things like his sad wicket keeping tame mate Brad Haddin. I think the Australians realize the value of pressure on the opposing team and this was something the Australians lost sight of after Warne and McGrath left as they kept clutching at straws and looking for match winners who simply did not exist . Now with the induction of McDermott who has made all these bowlers bowl line and length and compliment each other. I think the Australian bowing has been very effective in Sri Lanka, in South Africa and in the home tests. When Australia get their batting act together , then they will be a major force. Now I see them a team that can cause concerns to any batting unit leave alone India. sridhar

  • Meety on January 11, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    @elle119 - I was spewing we couldn't comment on that article about MaGilla's towel! Cricinfo hang your heads in shame!!!!!! == == == IMO - Siddle = good test bowler, but crud ODI. I really hope his success in tests doesn't mean he'll be in the ODI side. Let Bollinger (if fit) & Brett Lee play the ODIs.

  • ddrath on January 11, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    @jkaussie Well You misunderstood me, i said he is not a BIG player!! if he is he wouldnt get drop in the first place. Well Ryan Harris is Big Player thats why he was in the team to SL because he can produce goods at any given time not only fast and bouncing pitches!! Ex for big players: when Simon catich scored hundard in Sri Lanka he stood out because D Leahman to come in. Peter Siddle is not big factor at all still or big player more to Prove Did he play in SA tour? Watch out for Pat Cummins! when he return!!

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