For a man who spent his early years playing competitive wood chopping in Victoria, Peter Siddle's rise in international cricket has been meteoric. After a nervous start against India in October last, Siddle came into his own against South Africa towards the end of the season.
After the semifinal loss in the T20 World Championship in South Africa, Siddle feels Australia have adapted to the format. “We're looking forward to the tournament. T20 has changed a long way since 2007. Every team is learning about the format, it's not just us,” he said.
With the team's composition having undergone a radical transformation, Siddle believes the changes could actually work in their favour.
“Most of the teams haven’t seen some of our players. The likes of David Warner have done really well in the limited-overs format, especially T20 cricket. Some of these guys did very well on the South African tour and this is a good opportunity for us to show what we are ahead of the Ashes,” he said.
Emphasizing on the need to be economical in the allotted four overs, Siddle said: “We just have twenty four balls. It's imperative to get everything absolutely right and make all the difference.”
One of the major talking points about Australia's T20 campaign would be the apparent distraction, with the Ashes to follow immediately. Siddle, however, stressed on the hunger to add another major limited-overs trophy to the cabinet. “No doubt it, (the Ashes), is at the back of our minds. But at the moment, we just want to focus on the WT20 and not look too ahead,” he said. With the buzz in Britain all about the momentum between the two teams, Siddle felt that a WT20 win would play an important role in the Ashes.
With the Aussies having won both their warm-up matches convincingly, Siddle and Co just can't wait to have a go at the teams when the real business begins. “The warm-ups were pretty good for us. We won both our games and that has kept us in good stead,” he said.