Siddle: "I have to perform well"

2015-12-06 10:20
Peter Siddle (Gallo)

Hobart - Senior paceman Peter Siddle said Sunday he was playing for his place in a rejigged Australian attack at this week's first Test against the West Indies in Hobart.

Siddle has overcome back trouble suffered in Australia's day-night Test win in Adelaide over New Zealand last weekend.

Australia need the 58-Test seamer's experience in their pace attack now without leading lights Mitchell Starc (foot) and Mitchell Johnson (retirement) against the West Indies.

But Siddle admitted he had to produce in Hobart to remain in Test contention after being passed over for the first two Tests against the Kiwis.

Siddle claimed his 200th Test wicket in the historic Adelaide day-night Test, but has been in and out of the team over the past 12 months.

Australian selectors' new policy to opt for bowlers bowling at speeds of above 140kph (87 mph) have complicated things for Siddle.

West Australian quick Nathan Coulter-Nile was picked in the Test squad for Hobart despite not playing a four-day game since March.

"Essentially I am playing for my place," Siddle told reporters.

"Being out of the side for so long and having a couple of games here and there makes you feel like that.

"I have to get out there and perform well, get the body right."

But the 31-year-old seamer said a chat with Test great Glenn McGrath has convinced him he still has a future despite Australian selectors' new pace policy.

Siddle said he had been encouraged by keeping in touch with McGrath, who captured 563 Test wickets despite rarely bowling above the 130kph zone.

Siddle said Adelaide's man of the match Josh Hazlewood had also reminded him that lacking blistering speed was "not a big deal".

"Look at his performances. He hasn't got that speed, it's about skill and going on the conditions," he said.

"Glenn McGrath is probably the perfect example.

"He's been our greatest fast bowler and he struggled to touch that (140kph) once in his career.

"That's a good example to go by.

"I spoke to him a lot, trying to build my game on him, how he was consistent, his patience and being able to work batsmen over."

Siddle became the 15th Australian to break the 200 Test wicket barrier in Adelaide.

"It was nice getting a bit of a rest getting back (home) - it was nice finishing the Adelaide Test match early," he said.

"But the back is good. It has pulled up well."

The first Test starts on Thursday in Hobart.

Read more on:    west indies  |  australia  |  peter siddle  |  cricket

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