Australia news July 31, 2014

Siddle building up his pace and strength

ESPNcricinfo staff

Peter Siddle is confident he is well on the way to regaining his place in Australia's Test team by boosting his strength and speed. Siddle was dropped from the Test side during the tour of South Africa in March and the coach Darren Lehmann said at the time that Siddle needed to lift his pace back up into the 140kph range instead of the low 130s.

A stint in county cricket with Nottinghamshire followed, but Siddle was then brought home early at the request of Cricket Australia, with the aim of working on his strength and speed ahead of October's Test series against Pakistan in the UAE. Siddle said his work was already paying off and he was increasing his strength in his "bum and legs".

"I definitely lost a couple of Ks [kilometres], that's for sure, but you can definitely find it back," Siddle told the Age. "Just with weights and getting strength back in my legs. [When] your bum's not as strong as it could be your legs are falling away and you can't get through the crease as well. Without doing the weights and the pre-seasons, you miss out on that. So [now] it's about getting as strong as you can."

Having Siddle at his best for the two Tests in the UAE will be important for the Australians, given that they will be without Ryan Harris, who is still recovering from knee surgery, while James Pattinson is on a slow comeback path from back stress fractures. Siddle said his drop in pace and strength was the natural result of his heavy workload over the past year, and nothing to do with his vegan diet.

"Footy players play for six months and have six months of pre-season so they're fit and strong by the time the next one comes around," he said. "With cricket it drags on and on. It happened with Mitchell Johnson. He had about three years of non-stop cricket and he started to fade away a bit with his pace, and that was only 18 months ago. Now he is bowling the fastest he has ever bowled.

"People say I'm not as strong, well come and watch me in a gym session, I'm stronger than I've ever been. That is the thing people don't understand. I'm lifting heavier weights than I've ever lifted. I'm moving better, It's just the fatigue; it gets everyone.

"You could go through 150 different Test cricketers who have slowed down in pace because they've played a lot of cricket. Kemar Roach is not bowling as fast as he used to. Is he still eating meat? It's a ridiculous thing. Look at Stuart Broad and James Anderson, they're not bowling as quick as they used to bowl."

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  • Dummy4 on July 31, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    down to earth response from an underrated cricketer. showing character before a big 2015

  • Basil on July 31, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    @Marius, a little respect sir, Ryan Harris is at a minimum 2nd choice behind MJ. OKeefe is the best spinner, and Siddle and Patto battle it out for the 3rd seamer. Thank you.

  • Marius on July 31, 2014, 10:22 GMT

    Bowling lineup should be: 1. Mitchell Johnson - because when he's bowling well he shreds batting lineups 2. Peter Siddle - because he's the seamer who can bowl all day 3. Nathan Lyon - because he's the only Test-quality spinner we've got 4. Whoever's fit out of Ryan Harris, James Pattinson, Patrick Cummins, Jackson Bird or Mitchell Starc - because Siddle isn't the guy you want with the new ball, and only one of the five ever seem to be fit to play at once

  • Peter on July 31, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    Siddle's problem is not enough movement, not lack of pace. 130K is still OK provided you have good control and can move the ball.

  • Dummy4 on July 31, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    Peter Siddle - the work-horse of the Aussie bowling line-up.. he will be very important for Australia along with Johnson, Pattinson, Starc , Jackson Bird, Cummings and maybe even Harris in the next 2-3 years

  • kieran on July 31, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    Sure he's not as quick these days, but his most productive period has occurred since he started bowling consistent line and a good length. The last couple of series though he has shown a lack of penetration, he's a good enough bowler these days to maintain that line & length and put a bit more heat on it. More squats Sids! Maybe start chopping wood again too.

  • ESPN on July 31, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    Yeah Siddle as a McGrath line and length strategy to his bowling , as the way he kept getting KP out in the Ashes by just bowling outside off stump till KP had enough and would nick one behind was just class. He is the perfect foil for Mitch and Harry , Patto could play in UAE as he can reverse the ball well but no sure if he is fit or not?

  • rob on July 31, 2014, 7:28 GMT

    That's it Sids, work on those glutes mate. We need you firing along strongly. Btw, what's Mitch Johnson been up to? I haven't heard boo about him since South Africa.

    @ xtrafalgarx : I remember a time he plucked Tendulkars off stump out with one that reversed in then moved back towards off. All at a casual 153k's. As you say though, that's in the past now, probably.

  • James on July 31, 2014, 3:49 GMT

    For me, Siddle should still be a walk-up starter for our line up. He is not as fast as he used to be, i remembr when he was 140+ and could even reach 150kph occasionally but those days are gone. However, he has become quite clever with his variations and use of the crease, and with Johnson in the side he doesn't need to be the fast enforcer. He is a perfect foil for the attack and is a top class workhorse and partnership breaker.

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