Australia news October 9, 2012

Siddle happy to skip short formats

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Peter Siddle has embraced his classification as a Test match specialist, reasoning his exclusive use in the game's longest form will give Australia their best chance of emerging from a hectic 18-month schedule with major series victories and the ICC's No. 1 ranking.

Recalling the career of his childhood hero and fellow Victorian Merv Hughes, 27-year-old Siddle was labelled "Test matches only" by the Australian selectors last summer after they recognised his worth as a high energy impact bowler and partnership breaker.

To earn that mantle, Siddle had refined his methods and discovered how to move the ball consistently under the tutelage of Craig McDermott. Now harnessing a greater shrewdness alongside his former aggression, Siddle will be the heartbeat of Australia's pace attack over a period that begins with Tests against South Africa and Sri Lanka at home before the rigours of an India Test tour and back-to-back Ashes series.

"I want to play one-day cricket, but there's a lot at stake at the moment for the Test team, with the 18 months we've got coming up, it's going to be very busy," Siddle told ESPNcricinfo. "I think we've got about 20 Tests in that time, so there's a lot of cricket to be played, and to get back to No. 1 we need to be ready, we need to be fresh and playing some consistent cricket. The best way forward for that is the approach we're taking.

"You'd like to play all forms, but the amount of cricket that gets played now it is hard to fit all that in as one player. I'm happy with it and I haven't had too many injuries, so the best thing for me to concentrate on Test cricket and staying out on the park is to get everything right and have a good crack at the next 16-18 months in the Tests and see how we go after that."

So focused has Siddle become on four and five-day matches that he was kept out of Victoria's first two domestic limited overs fixtures against Western Australia and Queensland. Siddle said this was done by mutual agreement between the Cricket Australia, the Bushrangers and himself, as part of a plan to have him play as many as four Sheffield Shield fixtures before the first Test against South Africa at the Gabba.

"Both parties worked together along with myself to work out what's going to be my best preparation for the summer lead-up," Siddle said. "So it was just a matter of by missing those games it didn't get my schedule too cluttered, and it meant that I can have decent recoveries and get ready for the next Shield game.

"I think I can play three, maybe four Shield games before the first Test, which gives me enough opportunities to get good rhythm, lots of overs under my belt and get that body ready and hardened at the start of the year for what's going to be a big summer here and a big 18 months internationally as well."

Australia's pace bowling roster for the Test summer ahead is likely to see the mature duo of Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus shoulder a considerable load, leaving the younger trio of James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins to be used more judiciously. The recovering Ryan Harris should factor in the second half of the summer against Sri Lanka, while beneath them is a strong reserve brigade including Mitchell Johnson, Jackson Bird, Ben Cutting, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Josh Hazlewood.

"By the sounds of it that's what they're talking about, and the one positive with that theory is that the blokes around the group other than myself and Hilfy have played at the high level, which is a massive positive for us as a team," Siddle said. "If James Pattinson goes down with a niggle or does get rested, a bloke like Mitchell Starc comes in or a Pat Cummins, those types of guys have played at that level and they do understand the work that goes into winning a Test match.

"All in all it is going to be a positive, and as long as we can all stay fit and strong and it works well for us in the results we can keep moving forward. It's going to generate a stronger bowling unit and a stronger side in coming years."

Bowling for Victoria in Perth and Brisbane at the outset of the season has provided Siddle with a useful reconnaissance ahead of the South Africa series, as the first and third Tests are scheduled for those venues. Siddle excelled on both grounds last summer, but said he was glad to have the chance to reconfigure his sights for the new season.

"Especially being a fast bowler they're probably two venues which give you a bit of assistance, which does help at the start of the season when you're working into things and getting into a bit of rhythm and consistency," Siddle said. "So it is a bit of an advantage in my sense that I get a bit of an easier run into the season, but it does give me a chance to get out on those grounds before the summer and just get a chance to play on them and get a feel for them again."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | October 12, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    @zenboomerang.Im pleased to see you will be hanging on my every word. Perhaps if you paid equal attention to observation of evidence trails & probability based outcomes, you might progress. While there are no guarantees, I work on an 85% probability model based on evidence. In the 18+ months that Ive been applying it on this site, I have close to a 100% success rate. In Cummin's case, I opposed his selection for Tests based on his lack of 1st class cricket ( 4 day cricket), his age & having been injured most probably by over bowling in the Shield Final. Under those circumstances,I suggested it highly probable he would sustain an injury playing 5 day cricket & his continued selection would exacerbate it, as in fact happened.The very high early season percentage of LBW,bowled & caught behind the wicket suggest trying to force the ball,either across the line or injudiciously.Older players have games that pre-date 20/20 to call on.Our youth have no such luxury.Hence their erratic form.

  • POSTED BY zenboomerang on | October 12, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    @hyclass... Following your logic, then Oz having not played a Test in 7 mths will be rusty, while the Saffa's will be in hot form from their series against NZ then Eng recently... So will be amusingly awaiting your comms if we lose the 1st &/or 2nd Tests & then you blame players skills when they are surely lacking match practice (by your logic)... & if we win/draw either, then your logic is out the window - isn't it?... lol...

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | October 11, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    @Meety..Always good to lock horns.Lets agree to disagree with respect to Cummins in SA and an evidence trail that I believe has significant supporting data and substance and hardly qualifies as a 'severe' stretch.When one considers that 5 day games are deemed a significant step up from 4 day games, I believe months without any long form cricket will be relevant, even in a second Test. If Australia were to play SA without any Shield or 4 day warm-ups for months, is it so hard to believe that they might struggle for concentration? It seems to be a quirk of modern international scheduling. This is one of those discourses where due to a complete lack of 1st class history, we are unable to do more than hold our own positions. My methods of researched evidence trails & probability have done particularly well. Until Cummins has the fitness and opportunity to demonstrate his legitimacy in long format cricket with validating performances,this debate will remain an esoteric discussion.

  • POSTED BY Wozza-CY on | October 11, 2012, 1:02 GMT

    Glad to see the players can differentiate between the various formats these days...it seems some selectors have had an issue with that in the past. I would prefer to judge Siddle post Punter captaincy. IMO Punter was too impatient with his bowling plans towards the end of his reign, at times aborting a plan mid over. Hilf & Siddle were proliffic with their FC teams, then struggled in the Oz team. Under Clarke they appear to be blossoming again. They have both improved thier accuracy which has been the key to their success. Their physical attributes will hold them in good stead over the course of a test match & their acquired skill means they will always do a bit with the ball. Siddle bowls his last over as if it was his first, making it hard for a batsman to think he's going to get on top of him. Others like Pattinson & Starc will need to learn from them. Our test team really needs a competent no.6 who bowls spin. Steeve O'keefe springs to mind.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | October 11, 2012, 0:09 GMT

    @ hyclass on (October 10 2012, 12:29 PM GMT) - again good observations, but the relevance of Sth Africa being "a SA side that hadn't played long form cricket for months.." by the SECOND Test is again severely questionable & not needed in an otherwise good post.

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | October 10, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    @Meety- check out Geoff Plumridge on Weetbix mycricket. Then come back and tell me how English I am.

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | October 10, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    I agree with @Dashgar re Cummins. Before he was selected to play SA, I suggested that given his age & the fact that he had been injured bowling in a 4 day game( Shield Final), playing him in a 5 day game might cause further injury, which did in fact prove to be the case. His performance in the second innings of the second Test was against a SA side that hadn't played long form cricket for months and clearly lacked matched fitness. The first Test only lasted a little over 2 days, not testing anybodys concentration or stamina. Clearly by later in the Second Test, that became an issue. His supposed roughing up of the great Kallis was barely above 140kph at the time-hardly the same as Johnston's left arm,150kph+ in swing thunderbolts that we all remember doing the same to Kallis and Smith. Cummins has developed 2 further injuries since. Often while avoiding one area,another is aggravated.Arthur stated his philosophy was to throw the fast men to the wolves-hardly the work of a genius.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | October 10, 2012, 11:25 GMT

    @smudgeon on (October 10 2012, 07:25 AM GMT) - 16 wickets at the Gabba - great bowling or poor batting? Commentator said it was great bowling & fielding. I see a bit of a trend with bowlers just testing the patience of batsmen & it seems to be working. @OzzyHammond - steady on there old chap, shouldn't you be hunkering down for the harsh northern winter? The stuff about Fleming & Waugh though - that was GOLD! (funny in a sad sort of way). Say G'day to Lizzy for me!

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | October 10, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    I think after watching them beat the worlds number one test team at home with relative ease I think SA will tear Australia a new one. I think the defeat will be so thorough that who knows? Maybe they'll have another Argus Report? :)

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | October 10, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    The batting may be a concern (although I think they are potentially a good - but not great - unit), but the cup's overflowing with bowlers right now. I keep thinking I really want to see Starc in the side, but at the expense of whom? I wouldn't like to be the one trying to juggle Siddle, Hilfenhaus, Pattinson with Cummins, Starc, and a whole bevy of FC talents under the age of 27. I know they keep talking about rotation, but I think a four-man pace attack of Sid, Hilf, Pattinson, and Starc have the potential to be the match of any batting unit in most conditions. Of course, then where would a four-quick attack leave Lyon? Jeez. Good luck, Inverarity - keep Mitch out of the side, and you'll have my respect, dude.

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | October 12, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    @zenboomerang.Im pleased to see you will be hanging on my every word. Perhaps if you paid equal attention to observation of evidence trails & probability based outcomes, you might progress. While there are no guarantees, I work on an 85% probability model based on evidence. In the 18+ months that Ive been applying it on this site, I have close to a 100% success rate. In Cummin's case, I opposed his selection for Tests based on his lack of 1st class cricket ( 4 day cricket), his age & having been injured most probably by over bowling in the Shield Final. Under those circumstances,I suggested it highly probable he would sustain an injury playing 5 day cricket & his continued selection would exacerbate it, as in fact happened.The very high early season percentage of LBW,bowled & caught behind the wicket suggest trying to force the ball,either across the line or injudiciously.Older players have games that pre-date 20/20 to call on.Our youth have no such luxury.Hence their erratic form.

  • POSTED BY zenboomerang on | October 12, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    @hyclass... Following your logic, then Oz having not played a Test in 7 mths will be rusty, while the Saffa's will be in hot form from their series against NZ then Eng recently... So will be amusingly awaiting your comms if we lose the 1st &/or 2nd Tests & then you blame players skills when they are surely lacking match practice (by your logic)... & if we win/draw either, then your logic is out the window - isn't it?... lol...

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | October 11, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    @Meety..Always good to lock horns.Lets agree to disagree with respect to Cummins in SA and an evidence trail that I believe has significant supporting data and substance and hardly qualifies as a 'severe' stretch.When one considers that 5 day games are deemed a significant step up from 4 day games, I believe months without any long form cricket will be relevant, even in a second Test. If Australia were to play SA without any Shield or 4 day warm-ups for months, is it so hard to believe that they might struggle for concentration? It seems to be a quirk of modern international scheduling. This is one of those discourses where due to a complete lack of 1st class history, we are unable to do more than hold our own positions. My methods of researched evidence trails & probability have done particularly well. Until Cummins has the fitness and opportunity to demonstrate his legitimacy in long format cricket with validating performances,this debate will remain an esoteric discussion.

  • POSTED BY Wozza-CY on | October 11, 2012, 1:02 GMT

    Glad to see the players can differentiate between the various formats these days...it seems some selectors have had an issue with that in the past. I would prefer to judge Siddle post Punter captaincy. IMO Punter was too impatient with his bowling plans towards the end of his reign, at times aborting a plan mid over. Hilf & Siddle were proliffic with their FC teams, then struggled in the Oz team. Under Clarke they appear to be blossoming again. They have both improved thier accuracy which has been the key to their success. Their physical attributes will hold them in good stead over the course of a test match & their acquired skill means they will always do a bit with the ball. Siddle bowls his last over as if it was his first, making it hard for a batsman to think he's going to get on top of him. Others like Pattinson & Starc will need to learn from them. Our test team really needs a competent no.6 who bowls spin. Steeve O'keefe springs to mind.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | October 11, 2012, 0:09 GMT

    @ hyclass on (October 10 2012, 12:29 PM GMT) - again good observations, but the relevance of Sth Africa being "a SA side that hadn't played long form cricket for months.." by the SECOND Test is again severely questionable & not needed in an otherwise good post.

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | October 10, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    @Meety- check out Geoff Plumridge on Weetbix mycricket. Then come back and tell me how English I am.

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | October 10, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    I agree with @Dashgar re Cummins. Before he was selected to play SA, I suggested that given his age & the fact that he had been injured bowling in a 4 day game( Shield Final), playing him in a 5 day game might cause further injury, which did in fact prove to be the case. His performance in the second innings of the second Test was against a SA side that hadn't played long form cricket for months and clearly lacked matched fitness. The first Test only lasted a little over 2 days, not testing anybodys concentration or stamina. Clearly by later in the Second Test, that became an issue. His supposed roughing up of the great Kallis was barely above 140kph at the time-hardly the same as Johnston's left arm,150kph+ in swing thunderbolts that we all remember doing the same to Kallis and Smith. Cummins has developed 2 further injuries since. Often while avoiding one area,another is aggravated.Arthur stated his philosophy was to throw the fast men to the wolves-hardly the work of a genius.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | October 10, 2012, 11:25 GMT

    @smudgeon on (October 10 2012, 07:25 AM GMT) - 16 wickets at the Gabba - great bowling or poor batting? Commentator said it was great bowling & fielding. I see a bit of a trend with bowlers just testing the patience of batsmen & it seems to be working. @OzzyHammond - steady on there old chap, shouldn't you be hunkering down for the harsh northern winter? The stuff about Fleming & Waugh though - that was GOLD! (funny in a sad sort of way). Say G'day to Lizzy for me!

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | October 10, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    I think after watching them beat the worlds number one test team at home with relative ease I think SA will tear Australia a new one. I think the defeat will be so thorough that who knows? Maybe they'll have another Argus Report? :)

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | October 10, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    The batting may be a concern (although I think they are potentially a good - but not great - unit), but the cup's overflowing with bowlers right now. I keep thinking I really want to see Starc in the side, but at the expense of whom? I wouldn't like to be the one trying to juggle Siddle, Hilfenhaus, Pattinson with Cummins, Starc, and a whole bevy of FC talents under the age of 27. I know they keep talking about rotation, but I think a four-man pace attack of Sid, Hilf, Pattinson, and Starc have the potential to be the match of any batting unit in most conditions. Of course, then where would a four-quick attack leave Lyon? Jeez. Good luck, Inverarity - keep Mitch out of the side, and you'll have my respect, dude.

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | October 10, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    @raj, I know what you're saying but that is pretty much the point. He hasn't bowled a ball in first class cricket since that good game vs SA. Since then he's just bowled ODIs and T20s and he's looked like a short format bowler. Can he readjust to Tests straight away? Nobody can know that. He has no proven record in First Class cricket. We have Siddle, Harris, Hilfenhaus, Pattinson and Starc, as well as Australia A bowlers Coulter-Nile, McDermott, Bird and Cutting, not to mention Trent Copeland who played tests in SL, who are all proven first class performers. I don't think we should be so quick to shove Cummins ahead of these guys on a hunch about his ability when his body hasn't looked like being able to stand up to the rigours of the game.

  • POSTED BY BG4cricket on | October 10, 2012, 5:04 GMT

    I really think Australia will win at home given the T20 diet most of the South Africans will have in the lead up whereas we will have Siddle,Patto, Clarke and Punter at a minimum playing 4 day cricket. For mine I think Hughes is the next bat to come in the team with Bailey (for Punter and Huss when the time comes) but can't see too many changes for the first test - Cowan, Warner, Watson,Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Haddin, Siddke, Pattinson/Starc, Hilfenhaus, Lyon

  • POSTED BY raj_24 on | October 10, 2012, 3:55 GMT

    @dashgar

    Patrick Cummins has played just the one test match vs RSA you referred to.He took 7 wickets in the match. How can you say he has not looked test bowler apart from one inn?

    If he had played more Tests and you said this it can be taken as good.

    Agree with you other observation that he must play more first class games.

    Anyway Patrick and other young bowlers are going to be rotated in the 20 tests AUS are to play over next 17 months.

  • POSTED BY dsig3 on | October 10, 2012, 2:08 GMT

    A strange cricketer in my book. He was my favourite bowler when he first came on the scene. Bowled short of a length and got good bounce and seam and rushed alot of batsmen. After his form had deserted him he seems to have invented himself as a medium fast swing bowler who pitches it up and swings it away. A good player to have in any side, brings alot of character and effort.

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | October 10, 2012, 0:20 GMT

    I don't think Cummins should be playing tests yet. He has barely played first class cricket and isn't ready yet, either physically or skillwise. If we go 4 quicks Starc has to be there for the leftie option as well as well as Siddle and 2 of Harris, Pattinson and Hilfy. Pick on form there. Cummins keeps getting hype but apart from 1 innings vs the South Africans a while ago hasn't looked a test bowler so far in his career. Let's see him play a few games for NSW and prove he's the real deal in the long format first.

  • POSTED BY Hyderabadi_Nawab on | October 9, 2012, 23:17 GMT

    He's 27 and already very good, will hit his peak in a couple of years - the Aussie bowling (excepting the spin dept.) seems in fine fettle, it is the batting that is the main cause for worry- aging Ponting and Hussey are no longer as reliable especially against quality fast bowling but may still pull an innings or two out of the bag purely based on grit and experience. The only names that probably the opposition bowlers might really be spending sleepless nights on would be Clarke and Watson, the rest of the gang - Warner, Marsh, Khwaja, Wade need to go a long way with Wade probably the most promising despite not being a specialist batsman.

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | October 9, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Siddle isn't my favourite player but as long as he performs he gets my vote. Gotta agree with your main point, @2nd_Slip. The catching also needs to be on the mark, mate. I agree with those who think Lyon should be left out except for Adelaide and Sydney. We just can't afford to him at the Gabba: Siddle, Hilfenhaus, Cummins and Starc for that one with Pattinson replacing Cummins for the WACA. Hope the fringe players, like Holland, Cutting come through because they will be needed sooner or later.

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | October 9, 2012, 19:54 GMT

    @2nd_Slip- " SA have never quite outclassed Australia in the test arena"- "never" is a long time, how long is your memory mate? I recall quite clearly Bill Lawry's team being whitewashed in South Africa. If South Africa hadn't been kicked out of international cricket for apartheid most people who know their cricket recognise that they would have developed into the greatest team in all of test cricket history. And Barry Richards could have gone onto greatness that only Bradman has equalled. Australia have been clearly outclassed by South Africa on more than one occasion.

  • POSTED BY sunny1307 on | October 9, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    Here's my prediction for Australia for next 18 months.Beat South Africa 2-0,Beat Sri Lanka 3-0,Beat India 2-0,Beat Poms in England 2-1 and finally Beat Poms in Australia 3-1.

  • POSTED BY Sinhaya on | October 9, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    @RyanHarrisGreatCricketer, I think Ryan Harris is expensive in the shorter formats just like Jimmy Anderson, but is superb in test matches. Ryan Harris was the root cause behind our defeat in Galle last year as he broked the threatening partnership between Mahela J and Angelo. Ryan Harris showed he can excel in spinning conditions too and he will be the biggest threat for Sri Lanka in the test matches. But I was glad we tackled him well in the CB series and that was why he was dropped from ODIs. I hope Hobart will help our swing bowlers like Angelo, Thisara and Kulasekara as it aided Kiwi bowlers like Bracewell, Southee and Boult. Surely why did n't Ryan Harris get a place in the Aussie side before 2010?

  • POSTED BY Jaffa79 on | October 9, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    Pattinson is a decent prospect although, as seen, he is inconsistant and has a long way and a lot of bowling to go before he becomes a consistant force in international cricket. Hilf and Siddle are good, honest 3rd seamers but hardly the types to make you wake up in a cold sweat and Cummins will never finish a 3 match series (he should never be allowed to play T20). As an England fan, they don't really worry me, although I know the Aussies have improved since the last Ashes debacle, I think the Aussies trump card could be Starc. He impresses with the new ball. The Aussie selectors are so poor (Bailey? Doherty? Forrest etc.) that they'll bring back Johnson on the basis that he might turn in a performace once every 10 tests.

  • POSTED BY 2nd_Slip on | October 9, 2012, 16:51 GMT

    Cant wait for Aus vs SA series..hope it turns out to be worth the wait esp. considering the fact that SA have never quite outclassed Australia in the test arena(excluding the 2008 series). Aus have a fairly decent bowling attack( which i hope doesnt disapoint like the English attack did ) but looking at the batting line up apart from Ponting and Clarke, Steyn ,Philander and Morkel will be rolling over the rest of the lads at will.I dont see Aus posting huge totals like they did against the below par Indian pace attack so Aus bowling will have to be oustanding.

  • POSTED BY RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on | October 9, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    have got the highest respect for siddle . but write whatever u want , say whatever u say, Ryan Harris is australia's most COMPLETE bowler and he should be australia's central focus for the tours of india and england especially

  • POSTED BY on | October 9, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    Pattinson, Cummins and Hilfenhous should all be considered ahead of Siddle. Only when Australia select a fourth fast bowler should Siddle even be considered. Keeping in mind that Watson is a very good pace bowler as well

  • POSTED BY SICHO on | October 9, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    Jonesy2- I'm not sure I wanted to comment on this article but your comment tempted me. See in Test cricket's best bowlers at present there's Dale Steyn on top of the food chain then there's the rest.

  • POSTED BY on | October 9, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    At last we have some one cares for test cricket.good luck siddle .

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | October 9, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    I've always had a high regard for Siddle's integrity and willingness to learn but don't like to see him drawn into the kind of public hype statements that have spent the last 5 years backfiring on CA. Call me old school but I prefer grace and results speaking for themselves.I'd like to see him smooth his running style out to lessen the likelihood of injury and use less energy.Any time the opening bowlers are swinging the ball regularly they will be a danger. All Australia's bowlers have good pace but consideration has to be given to their effectiveness once the shine comes of the new ball and before it reverses as in the last Ashes. I hope Starc kicks on in the longer format. He may be something of a one trick pony with his late full in-swing,but it makes a good counterpoint to Hilfenhaus' outswing with the new ball. I have strong misgivings about Cummin's ability to endure longer format cricket,as I did before his initial selection for Tests,that has since seen 3 seperate injuries.

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | October 9, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    why wouldnt he love being a test only player hes the best bowler in test cricket

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | October 9, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    The fact that the trolls hate Siddle only makes me like him more. Siddle's test average is actually better than players such as James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Morne Morkel, Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga. Add to this that he's only going to get better in the coming years and you've got one of the best bowlers in the game.

  • POSTED BY Marcio on | October 9, 2012, 11:30 GMT

    Siddle looks very good now - the perfect test match fastbowler. He'll just bowl all day, and won't give up - unlike MJ, who is a pure confidence bowler. In Brisbane, the toss will be crucial. Whoever bowls first will definitely have the edge. Would not like to be facing either the AUS or SA attacks on day 1 there.

  • POSTED BY Sinhaya on | October 9, 2012, 11:30 GMT

    @Meety, that is my worry mate. I really think Eranga bowled so well against the Aussies when you all visited here last year. I think we must use Eranga, Kulasekara, Angelo and Thisara in the tests and get Herath to do the spin bowling. Eranga was in our T20 squad but our selectors may ignore him. So sad. Seems Sydney is now a bouncy pitch right? I hope the big fan base Sri Lanka has in Australia will help us register our first test win. Remember when we last played 2 tests in late 2007, umpiring howlers against Sanath in Brisbane and Sanga at Hobart proved deadly. Now with DRS there, no excuses at all. I am sure our main batting hopes will be Sanga, Angelo (looking at his success against Aussies) and Chandimal due to his good record overseas so far. I think Cummins and Starc are far better rather than Pattinson who can be costly at times. Harris is injury prone but he will be the best bowler against us. He bowled very well in Sri Lanka.

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | October 9, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    @Moppa- actually there is a serious comparison to be had between McDermott & Siddle as test bowlers, both have lift and pace, both have bluster, and both were bog average. Bruce Reid was the best bowler had at that time, Hughes and McDermott were no better than the pop guns we have now. Paul Reiffel was a handier bowler than both.

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | October 9, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    @Meety- mate honestly I've never lived in the UK. Born and bred Australian. Why can't you understand?! And on that day at the cricket (looking back I think now it was a domestic odi game) we also bumped into Kaspa and M Waugh & Fleming (who were doing the commentary for fox sports) and he showed me the correct grip for the out-ducker, good day even though they all thought I was crazy to go for England ;) they all agreed at the time that Siddle looked pretty terrible, but I think to be fair he was coming back from injury at that stage. Still at his fittest and best he is just bog average as a test bowler.

  • POSTED BY on | October 9, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    I love that someone - anyone - wants to put Test match cricket first. Well done, Pete Siddle.

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | October 9, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    @Hammont. I used to resevre my opinion on Sid as well, but his efforts last season was an eye-opener, & I was there to witness his hattrick the season before. If he continues his improved form with his length & movement with pace, he woud be a valuable option. Bowlers can improve, I recall Anderson's first 3 or 4 years in tests, he was barely at pie-chucker level but look how he improved!

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | October 9, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    @Hammond, two years ago I would have agreed with you, Siddle was too short and too often leg-side... and inconsistent too (witness 2010-11 Ashes, great one day, appalling the next). But he was my bowler of the summer in 2011-12. Can't ask for much more than fast, accurate, good length, with aggression and a hint of movement - hoping to see more of the same at the Gabba. Incidentally, I give a lot of credit to McDermott, to me Siddle's improvement started from around the Sri Lanka tour last year.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | October 9, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    @Sinhaya on (October 09 2012, 07:06 AM GMT) - do you think your selectors will pick Eranga? He looked good but has hardly been sighted since! @BurmaStu on (October 09 2012, 07:24 AM GMT) - I know what you are saying, but I think that says more about McGrath than Siddle. @rafe01 on (October 09 2012, 09:35 AM GMT) - well said OzzyHammond is delusional, he can't possibly of seen any Shield matches from his dank little flat in London! LOL! @Dashgar on (October 09 2012, 10:32 AM GMT) - I think Siddle will do, I think he'll lead the pack well, but I think the men that could do the real damage is Starc & Hilfy. Anybody that says a bloke with a sub-30 bowling average is bog average (you know who), has rocks in his head!

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | October 9, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    Can't wait to see big Sid back in action. Quality bowler, he'll rip through the South Africans and the Sri Lankans this summer.

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | October 9, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    @rafe01- mate I've been watching the last two years. Siddle is average, and will remain so. No height, little movement and poor seam position. If we find someone decent in the next 18 months Siddle will be just another minor footnote in Australian cricket history.

  • POSTED BY rafe01 on | October 9, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    BurmaStu, yes, he really does move the ball, both ways! It was very evident in his returns against India last summer. Hammond, you're info is 2 years out of date.

  • POSTED BY on | October 9, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    If only everyone had this attitude the ashes would still be the highest level of cricket, the sad thing is money talks so hats off to siddle for wanting to play the purist form of the game we love, Good Luck to Aussie and with 20 test matches in 18 months I don't think anyone is gonna be complaining about the scheduling of test matches decreasing haha

  • POSTED BY Aman_blues on | October 9, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    dude juz b clear dat u r nt in da selectors mind n u probably has no chance of gtng in da limited ovrs teams so dun tok n mke thngs luk so diffrnt b clear u wnt gt a place in odi side

  • POSTED BY on | October 9, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    Peter siddle, cummins, pattinson, hilfenhaus, and lyon.

  • POSTED BY Keepa-batsman on | October 9, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    Siddle Hilfenhaus Cummins and Pattinson, with Clarke and Warner carrying spin duties

  • POSTED BY on | October 9, 2012, 8:13 GMT

    Please don't mention Mitchell Johnson.

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | October 9, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    Siddle epitomises to me the typical bog average cricketer Australia have produced since 2006. I remember being at the SCG for a shield game a few years ago and he looked so bad me and my mates were yelling "fruit" every ball he bowled. Standard up and down pop gun Aussie bowler that most foreign batsman absolutely love.

  • POSTED BY CricketMaan on | October 9, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    I like his agression, he was wayward and too agressive to start but Craig McD has been the best to happen to his and his colleagues. Looking forward to his battel vs Proteas and against India in tough conditions. On another note (I can't stop commenting about India..lol) how i wish Ishant and Umesh have such a mentor!! Though they too have been set aside for Tests, they need an effective mentor to guide them to be the force they can in Tests for India. And lastly Selectors and Zak need to do what John and Siddle has done. Sit talk and decide which format he plays..All the best Siddle, will be watching you hustle and bustle against Smiths and Amlas, Kholis and SRTs later this season..

  • POSTED BY BurmaStu on | October 9, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    I don't recall Glenn McGrath being asked to play only Tests - and that didn't appear to shorten his career. I'm not sure Siddle's best interests are being served here - surely experience in all three formats builds a better overall player. And I've not been lucky to watch him in action much but does he really move the ball yet?

  • POSTED BY Buckers410 on | October 9, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    Siddle should be in a 4 man attack without a spinner until Adelaide or Sydney. Four bowlers should be Cummins, Starc, Hilfy and Siddle, plus Watson. Team needs to be: 1.Watson 2.Cowan 3.Clarke (c) 4.Ponting 5.Smith 6.Hussey 7.Wade (wk) 8.Siddle 9.Starc 10.Cummins 11.Hilfenhaus. We need to get Smith in and ready for the ashes. He is the best youg batsman in the country but he needs more experience in Aus colours. If he goes well against RSA he will go well in Eng. Smith is factor. All our bowlers are going well. But we need to take 6 bowlers to england and 2 spinners. 2 good spinners. We need a leggie or left armer to be one of those spinners.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | October 9, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    Perhaps a good decision. I don't see a long career for Siddle in shorter formats and he seems one bowler with good fitness to last the longer format for the Aussies. He might be wayward sometimes but he was really good under McDermott. Bowl fuller length and less boundary balls. Occasional bouncer for aggression. He will be a very good prospect for long term.

  • POSTED BY nthuq on | October 9, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    Definitely a long term prospect, this guy. If he keeps himself fit, he could be leading the attack for another six-seven years at least. Not just the young bowlers coming through for Australia now, but the youngsters too! Great to see.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | October 9, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    Good one Sid !! I like you a lot for your high-octane and never-say-die attitude. Wow. can't wait for the first ball in Brisbane. Enough of the hit and giggle stuff. Bring test-cricket on !! Go Aus !! God Bless !!

  • POSTED BY Sinhaya on | October 9, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    Pace bowling is Australia's strength. They have won lot of test matches lately due to their high class pace attack. Lankan batsmen must plan to face him. As I know from what visiting teams have won test series in Australia in the history of cricket, it is the great West Indies, England and South Africa and the reason was due to A grade pace bowling. I hope Sri Lanka can draw inspiration from what NZ did last year and also since we beat South Africa in South Africa in a test match in December last year. We paid dearly by under estimating the Aussies when they came here last year.

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  • POSTED BY Sinhaya on | October 9, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    Pace bowling is Australia's strength. They have won lot of test matches lately due to their high class pace attack. Lankan batsmen must plan to face him. As I know from what visiting teams have won test series in Australia in the history of cricket, it is the great West Indies, England and South Africa and the reason was due to A grade pace bowling. I hope Sri Lanka can draw inspiration from what NZ did last year and also since we beat South Africa in South Africa in a test match in December last year. We paid dearly by under estimating the Aussies when they came here last year.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | October 9, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    Good one Sid !! I like you a lot for your high-octane and never-say-die attitude. Wow. can't wait for the first ball in Brisbane. Enough of the hit and giggle stuff. Bring test-cricket on !! Go Aus !! God Bless !!

  • POSTED BY nthuq on | October 9, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    Definitely a long term prospect, this guy. If he keeps himself fit, he could be leading the attack for another six-seven years at least. Not just the young bowlers coming through for Australia now, but the youngsters too! Great to see.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | October 9, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    Perhaps a good decision. I don't see a long career for Siddle in shorter formats and he seems one bowler with good fitness to last the longer format for the Aussies. He might be wayward sometimes but he was really good under McDermott. Bowl fuller length and less boundary balls. Occasional bouncer for aggression. He will be a very good prospect for long term.

  • POSTED BY Buckers410 on | October 9, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    Siddle should be in a 4 man attack without a spinner until Adelaide or Sydney. Four bowlers should be Cummins, Starc, Hilfy and Siddle, plus Watson. Team needs to be: 1.Watson 2.Cowan 3.Clarke (c) 4.Ponting 5.Smith 6.Hussey 7.Wade (wk) 8.Siddle 9.Starc 10.Cummins 11.Hilfenhaus. We need to get Smith in and ready for the ashes. He is the best youg batsman in the country but he needs more experience in Aus colours. If he goes well against RSA he will go well in Eng. Smith is factor. All our bowlers are going well. But we need to take 6 bowlers to england and 2 spinners. 2 good spinners. We need a leggie or left armer to be one of those spinners.

  • POSTED BY BurmaStu on | October 9, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    I don't recall Glenn McGrath being asked to play only Tests - and that didn't appear to shorten his career. I'm not sure Siddle's best interests are being served here - surely experience in all three formats builds a better overall player. And I've not been lucky to watch him in action much but does he really move the ball yet?

  • POSTED BY CricketMaan on | October 9, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    I like his agression, he was wayward and too agressive to start but Craig McD has been the best to happen to his and his colleagues. Looking forward to his battel vs Proteas and against India in tough conditions. On another note (I can't stop commenting about India..lol) how i wish Ishant and Umesh have such a mentor!! Though they too have been set aside for Tests, they need an effective mentor to guide them to be the force they can in Tests for India. And lastly Selectors and Zak need to do what John and Siddle has done. Sit talk and decide which format he plays..All the best Siddle, will be watching you hustle and bustle against Smiths and Amlas, Kholis and SRTs later this season..

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | October 9, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    Siddle epitomises to me the typical bog average cricketer Australia have produced since 2006. I remember being at the SCG for a shield game a few years ago and he looked so bad me and my mates were yelling "fruit" every ball he bowled. Standard up and down pop gun Aussie bowler that most foreign batsman absolutely love.

  • POSTED BY on | October 9, 2012, 8:13 GMT

    Please don't mention Mitchell Johnson.

  • POSTED BY Keepa-batsman on | October 9, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    Siddle Hilfenhaus Cummins and Pattinson, with Clarke and Warner carrying spin duties