November 29, 2013 2:58:56 pm
Australia seamer Peter Siddle sympathises with England batsman Jonathan Trott,who left the Ashes tour to deal with a stress-related illness,but said his team’s focus was squarely on winning and that they would not be dialling down the intensity.
England’s number three batsman left the tour this week after failing twice with the bat during his team’s 381-run loss in the first Test in Brisbane.
Australia batsman David Warner was condemned by England captain Alastair Cook and team director Andy Flower for publicly criticising Trott’s batting,and England paceman Stuart Broad expressed his hopes that the hosts would not use the batsman’s travails as a weapon.
When asked whether Trott was an “out-of-bounds” topic in on-field banter,Siddle said on Friday:
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“Another thing there is it’s a battle out on the field and we’ll go about it how we think it will work.
“We’ll just keep playing hard cricket. We’ll keep putting the pressure on them. We’ll keep going from there.
“It’s disappointing for him to be going home,I wish him all the best,but we’re going out there trying to win Test matches and however we do that we’ll play hard,aggressive cricket and hopefully get the win at the end of the day.”
Trott’s departure after a prolonged struggle for form prompted an outpouring of sympathy from former players but has not curbed Australia’s determination to be aggressive in deed and word out in the middle.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann rejected any suggestion that he and Flower ought to meet before the second Test in Adelaide to work out ground rules on sledging and said he was content so long as his players confined it to the field.
Siddle also ratcheted up the tension by suggesting Australia’s bowlers had the measure of Cook and England’s aggressive number four batsman Kevin Pietersen.
After scoring 13 in the first innings at the Gabba,Cook hit England’s top score of 65 in the second,while Pietersen was dismissed for 18 and 26.
“I think the biggest danger is Alastair Cook at the top and Kevin Pietersen. They’re the two we’ve probably targeted the most in the last couple of series and sort of got on top of,” Siddle told reporters by the Dennis Lillee statue at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“That’ll be no different here. We’ve just got to try to keep working them over,keep the pressure on them,keep building,hopefully keep the success going.”
On Adelaide Oval’s new drop-in pitch,Australia’s pacemen are unlikely to enjoy the bounce that troubled England’s batsmen at the Gabba,and are expected to need to bowl bigger workloads.
The quick turnaround between Adelaide and the third Test in Perth has prompted media speculation that the selectors might elect to rest injury-prone seamer Ryan Harris to keep him fresh for Perth.
Siddle,along with fellow quick Ben Hilfenhaus,was rested for Australia’s third and final Test against South Africa in Perth last year after being forced to bowl a huge workload in the preceding drawn Test in Adelaide after paceman James Pattinson was injured during the match.
South Africa went on to thrash Australia to seal the three-Test series 1-0.
Siddle did not think he would have any problems backing up for both Tests against England.
“That would be the plan,” he said. “Obviously,I couldn’t last time but we had a big workload earlier on.
“This time,it’s obviously been a lot lighter.
“We’ve just got to play it by ear.”
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