Sydney: Peter Siddle is using the second coming of Mitchell Johnson as inspiration in his own quest for a Test recall.
Johnson was named ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2009, but injuries and fatigue proceeded to cut the left-armer’s confidence and curtail his express pace. Over the past nine months, Johnson claimed the mantle of world’s most intimidating bowler by humbling England and South Africa’s batsmen.
Siddle, who returned from a county stint with Nottinghamshire at the behest of Cricket Australia, has turned to the resurgent Johnson for inspiration as he embarks on a pre-season designed to build up strength. The paceman was dropped for the series decider against the Proteas in March due to a dip in his bowling speeds.
“Johnson had about three and a half years of non-stop cricket and he started to fade away a little bit with his pace,” said Siddle.
“That was only 18 months ago, now he’s bowling the fastest he's ever bowled. “He was unbelievable and... he’s a great example. He’s one of my good mates. I’ve played a lot of cricket with him and you can get inspired by things like that.”
Siddle has already put on a couple of kilograms in search of the kilometres needed to win back his pivotal role in the Australian Test attack, and says those who criticise his vegetarian diet have no idea about the toll playing cricket continuously takes on fast bowlers.
“I definitely lost a couple of kilometres, but you can definitely find it back,” Siddle said. “Just with weights and getting strength back in my legs. (When) your back’s not as strong as your legs, everything starts falling apart. Without doing the weights and the pre-seasons, you miss out on that.
“Footballers play for six months and have six months of pre-season so they’re fit and strong by the time the next one comes around. With cricket it drags on and on.
“People say I’m not as strong, welcome and watch me in a gym session, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.
“That is the thing people don’t understand. I’m lifting heavier weights than I’ve ever lifted. I’m moving better, It’s just the fatigue; it gets everyone.” (Agencies)