Siddle testing himself with an eye on India

PETER SIDDLE will embark on a pre-season-like training regime after this week's final Test of the summer in order to keep himself in peak condition to lead Australia's attack in the subcontinent next month.

While Australia's limited-overs teams take on Sri Lanka in the coming weeks Siddle, who does not have a Big Bash contract, will be working with Cricket Australia's strength and conditioning coach David Bailey to maintain his fitness.

CA are yet to finalise a training regime for Siddle but the initiative is separate to the rotation policy – or player management plan – as the Victorian is considered a Test specialist and not part of Australia's ODI and Twenty20 teams.

The lionhearted paceman's next match after the third Test is likely to be Victoria's Sheffield Shield clash with South Australia in Adelaide starting January 24.

"I'll just go home now and have a mini pre-season which is going to be a good thing leading into India," Siddle said.

"I'll get a month where I can just work on my fitness, get my body right and get rid of any little niggles that are around and just freshen up which I think will put me in good stead.

"And with some good weather around, I'll be able to get my bowling up with the Vics in Melbourne so I'll be all right to go looking forward to India.

"It'll be hard work but that's the fun of Test cricket."

The tour of India kicks off a busy 2013 Test schedule for the Australians, who face back-to-back Ashes campaigns later in the year, and Siddle will play a key role.

Though only 28, Siddle is now one of the senior players in the Test side after Ricky Ponting's retirement and the imminent departure of Michael Hussey.

Of the 13-man squad for Sydney, only captain Michael Clarke, Hussey and comeback kid Mitchell Johnson have more experience than Siddle's 36 Tests.

Much of the talk this week has focused on the need for the likes of David Warner, Phillip Hughes and Ed Cowan to take more responsibility but Siddle has already let his actions do the talking.

He lifted his attitude after being given a stern reality check by former pace mentor Craig McDermott in Sri Lanka in 2011 and his fitness improved further last year after becoming a vegetarian and virtual teetotaller.

"I guess looking back now, when I came in at 23, you do go about things differently, you think it's pretty cruisy and you're happy with we're you're at, but it does hit you a few times when you get dropped or you're told some home truths about how you're really going or really looking," Siddle said.

"It's only been the last few years I've probably started to concentrate a lot more and work a lot harder.

"Last year I benefited from all that work I put in and actually concentrating a bit harder on what I had to do to be a professional cricketer and play at the highest level.

"Sometimes those little hiccups along the way sometimes do help if you take it the right way and go about changing those things."

Siddle has now become an inspiration for young guns such as Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson.

"I just want to see the young boys do as well as they can when they first come in and keep doing as well as they can," Siddle said.

"I want them to learn from my mistakes of being a bit lazy when I first came in and taking it easy. You want them to go as hard as they can and keep doing that, and if I can keep doing that, whether that's at training or out on the field, hopefully they can follow that way."

This story Siddle testing himself with an eye on India first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.