THE memory of Sachin Tendulkar's shattered stumps will reinforce Peter Siddle's plan to be patient at the MCG in the second Test against Sri Lanka, possibly alongside rookie Jackson Bird.
Siddle has no doubt Bird can be effective if picked. He has seen first-hand how the Tasmanian quick has bowled in Melbourne.
Bird has taken 14 scalps at the MCG in three innings bowled in Sheffield Shield matches the past two seasons, and Siddle was one of his victims last month.
Siddle said on Saturday Bird could draw on his MCG record with confidence if chosen to replace the injured Ben Hilfenhaus, just as Siddle could after turning last summer's first Test against India. In bone-dry conditions last year, India were cruising until Siddle found a way through Tendulkar's defence, and the tourists' last eight wickets fell for 68 runs.
''It's a very patient ground,'' Siddle said when asked about Bird's liking for the MCG. ''Our game plan works beautifully here and I guess I've had my success similar to him.
''You bowl nagging lengths and be patient and bowl tight lines. That's been the go here for us. Sometimes it hasn't been about the big swing, it's about being patient and working the batsman over. That's the thing. That's the way Victoria has gone about the past six or seven years that I've played and we've had a lot of success with that.''
Siddle has enjoyed great success in his home Tests, with 18 wickets at 22.44 from four previous matches, including a haul of 6-75 in what was Australia's only high point in an Ashes drubbing two years ago. He said there would be little reason for him to pass on any extra advice to Bird.
''He's been picked because he bowls well and he's very well suited to that MCG wicket. It would be very simple, just 'Congratulations on the effort and what you've done to get here', but it's just go about his thing like he normally does. It's only another game, in the end.''
Wickets aside, Siddle has been a captain's dream in his 35 Tests because of a willingness to work hard, best illustrated against South Africa in Adelaide this month, when the 28-year-old pushed himself to the point of exhaustion leading an under-manned attack.
That quality was borne into Siddle from a young age, when his parents, Steve and Allison, ferried him across Gippsland and regularly to Melbourne and back.
''The sacrifices they made to get me to Melbourne all those times and all those kilometres, I knew I'd better have a crack and do everything right to pay them back a bit,'' Siddle said. ''I've lived by that.''
There is a chance Siddle could be bowling for a new captain this year, if Michael Clarke's hamstring injury rules him out.
Siddle was confident even if Clarke missed out, there would be no leadership vacuum even though Australia has played just one Test in its post-Ricky Ponting era.
''Blokes stood up in Hobart and showed they could lead, whether that's in the field or with the bat or ball,'' he said.