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Sidebottom gears up for Australia

NatWest Series

Ryan Sidebottom was in positive mood despite a minor hamstring strain

Ryan Sidebottom insists he will be fit and raring to go when England`s NatWest Series against Australia gets under way next week.

The 32-year-old, who played a key role in England's ICC World Twenty20 win, is unavailable for Saturday's one-off clash with Scotland due to a hamstring injury.

However, he is confident he will have recovered in time for the series opener against the old enemy next Tuesday.

“The hamstring is good - it's just a precaution to let it rest and settle for the next couple of days,” Sidebottom told ECBtv.

“These things happen but I have played a couple of Twenty20 games and feel in good form with the ball.

“It is a little bit frustrating but it should not be too long before it has healed and I should be ready and raring to go for Australia.”

Ryan Sidebottom

Ryan Sidebottom is hoping for more reasons to celebrate against Australia - providing he recovers from a slight hamstring problem

England go into the NatWest Series opener with a psychological advantage over Australia having followed up last summer's Ashes success by claiming a historic victory in the final of the World Twenty20.

And Sidebottom is desperate to put another one over Ricky Ponting's side, although he believes England's recent successes will make their rivals more determined to set the record straight.

He added: “I am very excited for the Australia series. I think they are very hurt by the Ashes and World Twenty20 defeats.

“They will come hard at us like they always do but it is going to be exciting. The guys are looking forward to it and hopefully we can put one over on them again with the Ashes coming up in the winter.”

England's 50-over form has improved dramatically since last summer's 6-1 defeat to Australia with series wins in South Africa and Bangladesh following an impressive Champions Trophy campaign.

But Sidebottom admits there is still room for improvement and believes another series against Australia, who are top of the International Cricket Council's 50-over rankings, offers an ideal test of England`s new-found attacking approach.

He said: “We have show what we are capable of as a 20-over side and in Test cricket we are flying, but the 50-over side is where we need to improve.

“We have got to be positive in all areas of the game and hopefully we can show we are a top 50-over side and win the series.”

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