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Siddle happy with coming cricket break
Ben Horne
18:16 AEST Tue Jan 1 2013

Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle says he'll overcome the void of first-class cricket in January by throwing himself into another pre-season training schedule leading into the tour of India.

Not a part of Australia's limited-overs program, Siddle will get more than a month and a half off from the international circuit after the third Test in Sydney starting on Thursday before the Indian tour kicks off on February 22.

However, it's a fine line for the modern-day fast bowler between freshening up and not playing enough lead-up cricket.

The Big Bash League Twenty20 schedule means Siddle will have just one Sheffield Shield game with Victoria under his belt before beginning the biggest year of his career.

Just as footballers rely on a big pre-season to help them get miles in the legs for a long year, Siddle is relishing the chance to get back to the training paddock in preparation for a mammoth year which also includes back-to-back Ashes tours.

"It works out alright for me. David Bailey, the (Australian) strength and conditioner, is from Melbourne so it's not too hard to find someone to train with," he said.

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

"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."

Under the new rotation system, Australia's fast-bowling line-up for any given Test has become harder to predict.

But Siddle revealed he'll be extremely surprised if he's the one chosen for a rest at the SCG - with Jackson Bird likely to make way for Mitchell Starc.

In the space of 18 months, Siddle has gone from fringe player to fast bowling leader and is one of only four current Australians - excluding the retiring Mike Hussey - to have played more than 30 Tests.

The 28-year-old admits he had some lazy habits when he first debuted against India in 2008, and is determined to take up the slack from Ricky Ponting and Hussey and lead by example in one of the most crucial years for Australian cricket.

"Obviously the two retirements through the summer have put a dampener on it all, but it does make it exciting for the up-and-coming players who will come into the side," Siddle said.

"They're going to have to get ready for big contests first up."


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