Lord's outing excites Siddle
Australia seamer Peter Siddle admits Lord's is something special - and intends to write his name into the history of the famous ground during the second Ashes Test.
The tourists went through a practice session today, giving some of the squad their first taste of the so-called ‘Home of Cricket’.
Lord’s has proved a happy hunting ground for Australia, with England's most recent victory over the old enemy coming in 1934.
Australia legend Glenn McGrath boasts the best figures by an visiting bowler at Lord’s, having taken 8-38 in the drawn second Test in 1997, and Siddle would like nothing more than to make a similar impact this week.
“The boys are keen to get out and get a feel of this famous ground, because half of us have not played here before,” he said.
"I have spoken to many people about the ground, including 'Pigeon' (McGrath), and the first thing I looked at was the slope, where the wickets were placed, and it is really something. You can't really believe what it is like until you see it for yourself.
"It is amazing to be able to get out and have a look around. I cannot wait to run out there on the first day."
Siddle added: "We have spoken about the tradition of it - how famous it is to play here at this ground - and we thrive on that.
"It is the Boxing Day Test back home, and then it is the Lord's Test when we come over here. We love playing here and just want to do well.
"We have all seen the greats here, and when Glenn McGrath took eight wickets, it was one of the greatest pieces of bowling I have ever watched.
"To get the opportunity to run out there now and hopefully replicate something similar is great."
McGrath gave a pep talk about bowling on the Lord’s slope to Australia’s current crop at Worcester a couple of weeks ago.
"He was pretty confident about our bowling attack and how we would go here," revealed Siddle. "He gave us a few little ideas.
"The main focus was about the slope, get used to running in, either getting pulled downhill or going the other way, but you’ve still got to bowl on any type of wicket.
"He liked the members’ end and that’s the end I’ll probably like too, coming back into the batsmen so that’s the end I’ll look to bowl from."
Australia could have veteran paceman Brett Lee back in contention for the second Test, after a side injury ruled him out of the opener in Cardiff.
The sides will run out at Lord’s all square following England’s great escape last week, when Australia failed to take the final wicket which would have sealed victory.
Siddle, who took three wickets in the first Test, said: “It is shame we could not finish it off in Cardiff, but there were some good efforts with the bat and ball and we are now looking forward to this next Test.”
Much has been made of England's stalling tactics late on the final day, with the 12th man, twice, and physio running on to the pitch during James Anderson and Monty Panesar’s last-wicket alliance.
Siddle, though, maintained: "There is always a good spirit in the Ashes series; they are the biggest games which both nations play in.
"There is a lot of pressure out there, so it is hard to be controlled sometimes. But it is always going to be played in a good spirit and I am sure there will be plenty of good people out there on the ground.”