Training to keep Siddle fit and firing
Delivering the goods: Peter Siddle during the thrid Test at the MCG. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
PETER Siddle will embark on a pre-season-like training regime after the final home Test of the summer in order to keep himself in tip-top condition to lead Australia's attack into the arduous tour of the subcontinent next month.
While Australia's limited-overs teams take on Sri Lanka in the coming weeks, Siddle, who does not have a Big Bash League contract, will be working with Cricket Australia's strength and conditioning coach David Bailey to maintain his fitness.
CA is yet to finalise a training regime for Siddle but the initiative is separate to the rotation policy, or player management plan, as the Victorian is considered a Test specialist and not part of Australia's one-day and Twenty20 teams.
The lion-hearted paceman's next match after the third Test is likely to be Victoria's Sheffield Shield clash with South Australia in Adelaide, from January 24.
''I'll just go home now and have a mini pre-season, which is going to be a good thing leading into India,'' Siddle said. ''I'll get a month where I can just work on my fitness, get my body right and get rid of any little niggles that are around and just freshen up, which I think will put me in good stead. And with some good weather around, I'll be able to get my bowling up with the Vics in Melbourne, so I'll be all right to go. [I'm] looking forward to India. It'll be hard work but that's the fun of Test cricket.''
The tour of India kicks off a busy 2013 Test schedule for the Australians, including back-to-back Ashes campaigns.
Siddle, 28, is now one of the senior players in the Test side. Of the 13-man squad on duty in Sydney, only captain Michael Clarke, the retiring Michael Hussey and Mitchell Johnson have more experience than Siddle's 36 Tests.
Much of the talk this week has focused on the need for the likes of David Warner, Phillip Hughes and Ed Cowan to take more responsibility but Siddle has already let his actions do the talking.
He lifted his attitude after being given a stern reality check by former pace mentor Craig McDermott in Sri Lanka in 2011 and his fitness improved further last year.
''I guess looking back now, when I came in [to the Test team] at 23, you do go about things differently, you think it's pretty cruisy and you're happy with where you're at, but it does hit you a few times when you get dropped or you're told some home truths about how you're really going or really looking,'' Siddle said.
''It's only been the last few years I've probably started to concentrate a lot more and work a lot harder. Last year I benefited from all that work I put in and actually concentrating a bit harder on what I had to do to be a professional cricketer and play at the highest level.
''Sometimes those little hiccups along the way do help if you take it the right way and go about changing those things.''