Time to celebrate ... Australia's Peter Siddle, right, celebrates taking the wicket of South Africa's Dale Steyn. Photo: Reuters
From slushies between spells to ocean therapy, Australia's fitness staff are pushing ahead with a concerted but deceptively simple plan to revive Peter Siddle for the Perth Test.
Siddle bowled himself to the point of exhaustion in Adelaide and the 63.5 overs he delivered for the match - that's 386 balls including three that he had to bowl again for overstepping - on top of 53 overs in Brisbane, took him into the danger zone where fast bowlers become more vulnerable than usual to breakdown.
But physical performance coach David Bailey said Siddle's supreme physical fitness and solid build-up to the Test series in the Sheffield Shield meant he was primed for such a scenario.
Suffering ... Australia's Peter Siddle. Photo: Getty Images
''We knew coming into the series what he was going to come up with, and we knew there was a short break between these two Tests, so we obviously prepared for that,'' Bailey said. ''You prepare for the worst result, and sometimes you have bonuses when games finish early as his last Shield game did, but Sidds was coming in ready to go and prepared. We know after this Test we've got a bit of a break, so we're preparing him to play.''
Let's call it Operation Sid Vicious, the collective effort to restore the physical and emotional energy of Australia's most important fast bowler in three days, for the match that will determine whether Michael Clarke's team seizes the No.1 Test ranking from South Africa.
It began while the fifth day of the Adelaide Test was still in progress, when Bailey handed Siddle a slushie - the kind you'd buy at a 7-Eleven - at breaks in play.
There is a slushie machine in the Australia dressing room, the ice-drinks designed to lower the players' body temperature and delay the onset of sweating when they start exercising again. Simply, Bailey said, it makes them feel better.
Having sprinted more than 10 kilometres - setting off on his 28-metre run-up 386 times - Siddle plunged his body into an ice bath during breaks in play and after stumps. Those figures don't include his work in the field, walking back to his mark or his batting.
With the recovery effort interrupted by a long flight from Adelaide to Perth, the bowlers turned to the recuperative powers of saltwater on Tuesday afternoon, immersing their bodies in the waves at City Beach.
''We'll get him to the beach and then just try to get him off his feet as much as we can, and also make sure he gets as much sleep as possible as well. There's not too much rocket science about it,'' Bailey said.
''A lot of people probably didn't realise how hot it was out on the ground. The combination of the overs he bowled and also coming off four Shield games, now he's played two Tests. He's done a fair bit of work, Sidds, but he would have kept putting in until he collapsed.
''He was really good [afterwards]. He's done a fair bit of work over the pre-season so he got through with flying colours.''
Though CA's rest and rotation policy was conceived to protect the younger quicks, the experienced Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus could be rested in Perth, if their bodies don't recover from the extra workload created by James Pattinon's injury. Neither is expected to bowl a ball in the WACA Ground nets before the Test starts on Friday.
''It's certainly something we need to look at,'' coach Mickey Arthur said after Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood and John Hastings were drafted into the squad.
''Both Hilf and Sidds have been outstanding, especially Sidds - I thought a real warrior-like effort. We've got a couple of days off, I can't see them bowling any balls at training so we've just got to see how they pull up. Hence we've given ourselves the cover, in case they don't pull up well, we're in a position where we could go with a completely different attack into Perth.
''That will depend on how Hilf and Sidds travel, and we've had Mitchell Starc with us. We know he's ready to go as well.''
One thing not available to Siddle in his recovery phase is a juicy steak, but his last-day heroics in Adelaide dashed suggestions the fast bowler's vegetarianism had taken the edge off his endurance.
''A number of elite sportsman are vegetarians and that's just a lifestyle choice he's made. Apart from that, he has worked extremely hard in the pre-season to be in top physical condition,'' Bailey said.
''I've worked with him 6½ years [with Victoria] and his professionalism is first class. It's a change for him and he feels really healthy and good with it, that's what matters, and his fitness has been exceptional.''