Siddle and Starc are the only two pace bowlers capable of keeping themselves fit at the moment
While Cricket Australia may have made the rotation policy amongst their pace bowlers in the national side mandatory, it does not mean that all of seamers are pleased its implementation.
That sure seems to be the case with Peter Siddle, who believes that resting bowlers from time to time may be useful, but he was quick to disagree with the idea of the rotation policy being compulsory.
Lately there has been a domino effect amongst the pace bowlers within the national team succumbing to long-term injuries, which has left Cricket Australia flustered and scrambling to find replacements in the first-class ranks.
During the three-Test series against Sri Lanka, Australia lost opening bowler Ben Hilfenhaus to a side injury and he has now joined compatriots such as James Pattinson, Pat Cummins and Ryan Harris on the sidelines.
With Australia’s pace bowling stocks dwindling, it seems as if Siddle and Mitchell Starc are the only two fast bowlers who have been able to keep themselves fit and not fall victim to the curse of sustaining long-term injuries.
Over the past year and a half, Harris, Cummins and Trent Copeland have all been a part of the Australian pace attack, but as soon as the momentum seemed to be building for each one of them, the tables turned and within a blink of an eye, they were out for the entire Test summer and subsequently lost their places in the side.
“That’s been the big thing that we’ve done well in the past 18 months is that whoever has come into the squad knew what they had to do,” Siddle said. “The guys who have come in in that time have shown that they can execute their skills and work with the rest of the players in that squad to maintain that pressure. The squad has changed a lot with the bowlers but we’ve stuck together and worked well as a team and we can keep doing that. That’s a big positive.”
During the three-Test series against South Africa last year, Siddle was forced to make the painful decision to sit out the final Test in Perth after failing to fully recover from bowling 64 overs in the second Test in Adelaide.
However, while no bowler likes to watch from the sidelines, Siddle admitted that it was important for them to tell the team management if their bodies were sore, which was exactly what he did when he sacrificed his opportunity to help Australia regain their number one Test team ranking after ruling himself out of the third Test.
Siddle also stated that Starc would now have a lot more pressure on his shoulders and could even see his workload increase during matches since he was the only other pace bowler capable of keeping himself fit.
“[Starc] has had a big workload but he has had time to rest now back at home,” Siddle said. “Everyone wants to play. I don’t think anyone ever wants to rest. But there does come circumstances where personally you don’t feel right and you might need to, like myself in Perth. I wasn’t right so I didn’t play.
“The last two summers here I played all 11 Test matches, so it can be done. The same thing would have happened this summer. I did not want to miss Perth but personally I made the right decision. I knew that if I had have been selfish and gone out there and got injured I would have put a lot of pressure on the rest of the side. After what we had in Adelaide I didn’t want to do that.
“You get plenty of say. It’s your body. No one knows your body. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the physio, the doctor or the selector, they don’t know how you’re feeling. It’s about being honest with them. That’s the big part of it, being honest with them about how you are feeling and how well you think you can go.”