Siddle eager for one-day berth
Fast bowler Peter Siddle is hoping to use the last two matches of the NatWest Series against England to prove he can be a vital part of Australia’s ICC Champions Trophy campaign.
Siddle has had to be content with playing a peripheral role as Australia have stormed to a 5-0 lead in their seven-match series, making his first appearance in last night’s four-wicket win at Trent Bridge.
The 24-year-old was finally given his chance when Brett Lee was rested in Nottingham, claiming figures of 1-50 from 10 overs.
Siddle admitted he had been slightly rusty having not played since Australia conceded the Ashes at the Brit Oval last month, but with the tourists likely to rest more players for the final two games the Victorian is set to get further opportunities.
“There’s plenty to play for personally in these final two games,” he said. “I want to try and secure a spot in the Champions Trophy. That’s my aim.
“It took me a while to find my feet a little bit last night, but the second half of my spell did feel better and I was a lot more comfortable out there.
“I know I’ve got to try and take this chance because Brett (Lee) has bowled so well in the series.
“If it fits with the side and I am able to keep my face in there that would be good. I just have to perform well over these next two matches.”
Siddle had been the man to keep Lee out of the Test series, so he could see the irony in the veteran keeping him out of the one-day set-up at present.
He admitted ousting Lee from the team was unlikely given his stellar series so far, but after working up speeds well over 90mph last night he believes that on the faster-paced wickets in South Africa the pair could be used in tandem.
“I don’t know if it’s a straight shoot-out between us,” he said.
“It could depend on the wickets in South Africa and how they (the selectors) want to line up.
“South Africa wickets are a bit faster so I might be a chance to play with him.
“It’s me or him at the moment and the way he’s been bowling and the way he bowls in the short form of the game is outstanding. He has an amazing record, I’ve just got to bide my time and wait for my chance.”
And while Siddle admits the disappointment of losing the Test series would not be overcome by an one-day whitewash, it would provide more than just consolation.
“It would be very pleasing,” he said.
“We’ve copped a lot of grief over the past two months over our performances in the Ashes, so to get a little back here and finish off these last two matches with wins would be a pleasing way to finish.
“We don’t want to slacken off now and let all that momentum that we’ve built up go. We’re going to be fighting hard to win the next two and win 7-0.”