I`m a better bowler when I`m sledging, says Siddle

Melbourne: Australia paceman Peter Siddle was unapologetic for his tirade at Matt Prior after dismissing the England wicketkeeper in the third Test in Perth and described sledging as `good fun` enjoyed by both the Ashes rivals.

Siddle sprayed invective at Prior after bowling him for 12, prompting the wicketkeeper to fire back a few choice words of his own before trudging off the field.

Prior vented his anger in a British newspaper column on Tuesday: "There are not many boxing matches when a guy knocks someone out and then kicks him when him while he`s on the floor," he wrote.

But Siddle described the episode as "part of the game".

"It`s always going to be there, we fight hard in the field and the emotions come out. It`s always around and no doubt going to be around in the future as well," he told reporters at a luxury hotel in Melbourne on Wednesday.

"I think that`s part of my game anyway. When I play my best that`s what I`m doing anyway. Sometimes it comes off and sometimes it doesn`t, in this case it has."

"It`s just both teams going hard at it. It`s good fun out there -- they`re at us, we`re at them and it makes the game a bit more lively and no doubt the spectators like to see it."

Australia`s pacemen skittled England for 187 and 123 in a stunning turnaround in form to clinch a series-levelling victory at Perth after managing only six wickets for 1,137 runs in their previous two innings in Adelaide and Brisbane.

The five-Test series is tied at 1-1 but Australia have all the momentum as they head into the fourth Test in Melbourne, which starts on Dec. 26.

The 26-year-old Siddle, a fiery red-head from country Victoria, managed only one wicket in Perth, where Mitchell Johnson and fellow quick Ryan Harris took 18, but said he was happy enough scoring the verbal points over England.

"I enjoy having some fun with the batters and it`s just the way I like to play my cricket, so if it helps the other boys get the job done, I`m happy to do it," he said.

Australia`s selectors are likely to persist with the four-pronged pace attack at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where the wicket is expected to favour their seamers.

Only captain Ricky Ponting remains a doubt after breaking his little finger in a catch attempt during Jonathon Trott`s dismissal in the second innings at Perth.

Siddle was bullish about Ponting`s recovery and said the Tasmanian should be fit for selection.

"It`s looking good, he`s come over here confident, and he said he`s holding the bat fine and all that type of thing."

"It doesn`t matter how sore you are or how injured you are I don`t think you ever want to miss a Boxing Day test, so I think everyone will definitely be 100 percent fit for this one."

Bureau Report

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