Peter Siddle skips first-class cricket to prepare for Indian tour

Sydney: Fast bowler Peter Siddle has decided to skip Australia’s domestic Sheffield Shield matches in order to prepare himself for their impending tour to India.

Running sessions, bowling in the nets, lifting weights in the gym, it has all been designed to prepare the 28-year-old Siddle for a gruelling four-Test series starting on February 22 in Chennai.

Siddle claimed 24 wickets in five Tests this summer against South Africa and Sri Lanka, after missing the Proteas Test in Perth with a hamstring problem, and the quick claims he knows his body best along with what works for him, the paper further reported.

Siddle said it was his plan to miss Sheffield Shield games, adding he had long chats with the selectors over the issue.

The pace bowler added he has observed that whenever he plays for long in the first-class games, he breaks down in the corresponding series, therefore, this time he has decided to keep himself fresh ahead of the Indian tour, as it’s a big year for the Australian cricket.

Siddle further said it is also the best way to do it, to have three or four weeks like a mini pre-season and get stuck in and really work hard on the fitness.

Siddle said get the weights back into it and get the strength back in throughout the body that has worn off through a hectic summer and get the body strong again for India and leading into the Ashes, adding he knows his body best and he knew this is the best way forward.

Siddle, whose conversion to a vegetarian diet has helped him develop a leaner frame over the past year, says the national selectors would face a fresh round of criticism if he broke down in India after playing in Adelaide.