Domain Tests v Sri Lanka
Consistency key for Siddle's Ashes tilt
Veteran Aussie seamer looking for regular game time after a summer mixing drinks for the Test squad
30 January 2019, 07:31 PM AEST
Peter Siddle's patience has been tested this summer with the experienced paceman spending most of his time in recent months on 12th man duties for Australia's Test side.
Siddle has made just four KFC BBL appearances for the Adelaide Strikers and played in all three matches of Australia's one-day series against India in between his Test commitments.
But the 34-year-old's hopes of adding to his 64 Test matches are far from over as he prepares for a decisive stretch of games in coming months and looks to stake his claim to feature Australia's World Cup and Ashes campaigns.
Victoria have four JLT Sheffield Shield fixtures remaining and sit in top position on the table as they eye a spot in the final, which starts March 28.
Barring injury, Siddle will play a key role in his team's bid for a fourth title in five summers.
He will then turn his attention to the English County Championship season with Essex.
"I haven't played a lot of cricket, so not great," Siddle said of his disjointed run after the Strikers' loss to Sydney Sixers on Tuesday.
"It's been good to be around the Australian set-up but I think I played my seventh game in white ball in two months so there is not a lot of cricket being played.
"It is hard to sort of fly in and play games. That's no excuse obviously. It is not the greatest preparation over the last few weeks.
"I think my record over there (in England) speaks for itself. I'm not too worried about my preparation for that (Ashes tour). I'll be fine there.
"It's just tough at the moment, just trying to get some game time and flying in and out."
Siddle shone for Essex last season, collecting 37 wickets from seven games in the County Championship campaign.
He collected three five-wicket hauls and boasted an average of 16.41.
Siddle's relentless line and length leaves him right in selection contention for the Ashes squad, with the right-armer a proven performer in the UK, having grabbed 43 wickets from 11 Tests against Australia's greatest rival.
First-choice pace trio Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood played all four Tests of Australia's 1-2 series loss to India.
With a back injury ruling Hazlewood out of the ongoing two-match series against Sri Lanka, selectors opted to replace him with Jhye Richardson, who justified the move with five wickets for the game in a superb debut display.
Siddle conceded Australia were likely to field an unchanged XI in the second Test in Canberra, starting on Friday, but he is maintaining a glass half-full approach.
Australia established a 1-0 advantage with an emphatic innings and 40-run triumph in Brisbane against the injury-hit visiting side.
"I'm doing all I can, I'm feeling good. I'm obviously bowling plenty with the red ball, just not in games," Siddle said.
"The group's been great. I think it was a good week there last week to get that win and just get a bit of confidence back and a bit of buzz around the boys.
"It was very exciting to get a couple of young blokes debut and do well.
"I will prepare for that Test match, see what happens and if not join with the Strikers for the last two games."
Domain Test Series v Sri Lanka
Australia: Tim Paine (c/wk), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Kurtis Patterson, Will Pucovski, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Kusal Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha
First Test: Australia won by an innings and 40 runs
Second Test: February 1-5, Canberra