Veteran Australian bowler Peter Siddle has finally returned to national squad as he earned a surprise recall to the Test side for the two-match series against Pakistan next month in the UAE.
Siddle last played for Australia in 2016 against South Africa, where he aggravated an injury before being forced out of action. Since then, his place in the Australian side was in the danger with the presence of a strong pace unit in Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.
He got Test recall after his string of consistent performances with the ball for Essex in the County Championship, picking up 37 wickets with three five-wicket hauls from seven outings.
The 33-year-old, who was a part of the victorious Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League earlier this year, claimed that a shift in mindset was the reason behind his success this season, saying he was not focusing on Australian recall but instead was focusing on the process that brought him the success of getting into the Australian side.
Siddle told Cricbuzz, “A strong Big Bash gave me a lot of confidence and then playing a bit more cricket in England after being injured has helped. Getting more cricket under my belt is starting to pay dividends. (It's) showing that I can still perform at the highest level and am putting the ball in the right place. I could definitely still be doing that at international level.”
He further explained, “The big thing in the past 12 months is that I've concentrated a lot more than I probably have previously on not being too focused about getting back into the Australian side. Instead, I've tried to focus on the games I am playing in. Over the last year, my attitude has been that I've got to be on the park and performing for whatever side I'm playing for. I'm enjoying cricket. The last twelve months, I've had a lot of fun. I've played some of my better cricket and over here this summer; I've put in some of my best performances in a very long time. That's the pleasing thing.”
Meanwhile, Siddle has insisted that he is not thinking about retirement, saying he “still want to play for Australia. I still have that drive to represent my country. It's bringing out the best of me in whatever tournament I am playing in. If I got to a stage where I wasn't performing, there would be a lot of pressure to move on but while I am still performing, I want to keep playing for as long as I can. I've got a good few years still to go.”
He signed off by saying, “It's bringing out the best of me in whatever tournament I am playing in. If I got to a stage where I wasn't performing, there would be a lot of pressure to move on but while I am still performing, I want to keep playing for as long as I can. I've got a good few years still to go.”