Peter Siddle must get through Wednesday's FR Cup match against New South Wales to play in Saturday's opening Test against Pakistan. Siddle missed the final West Indies game in Perth with a nagging hamstring complaint but has been picked in the Boxing Day squad.
However, his last hurdle before the MCG is a 50-over game at the SCG as the defending champions aim to shift from fourth place. "The funny thing was I was actually better before the Perth Test than I was in Adelaide, so it's not as big a deal as everyone thinks," Siddle said in Melbourne.
"I've had a couple of bowls the past two days and I had a good hit-out yesterday in the middle of one of the district grounds and it's come up fine. I don't feel any different to when I was bowling a few months ago. It's feeling ready and I'm feeling confident."
Siddle was pleased to be able to test the problem before he ran into Pakistan. "I've got to get through this game with no worries and I am confident of doing that," Siddle said. "Hopefully I get my spot back now and get back in there."
He comes into the squad for Rob Cassell while another boost for the Bushrangers is the fitness of Brad Hodge, who had to pull out of what was meant to be his final Sheffield Shield appearance with a knee injury.
New South Wales have called in Dominic Thornely for the encounter after losing Phillip Hughes to the Australia squad. The allrounder Steven Smith missed the four-day Shield game against Victoria but has been cleared for the one-dayer as he looks to impress further ahead of Australia's limited-overs fixtures next month.
Victoria squad Rob Quiney, Chris Rogers, Brad Hodge, David Hussey, Cameron White (capt), Aaron Finch, Andrew McDonald, John Hastings, Matthew Wade (wk), Peter Siddle, Jon Holland, James Pattinson.
New South Wales squad Phil Jaques, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Ben Rohrer, Moises Henriques (capt), Daniel Smith (wk), Steven Smith, Dominic Thornely, Stephen O'Keefe, Grant Lambert, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc.