Siddle: I'll be fit for New Zealand


Australia fast bowler Peter Siddle is confident he will be back to 100 per cent fitness for the two-Test series against New Zealand next month after being named in Australia's 14-man squad.

Siddle struggled with an ankle injury throughout the Boxing Day Test after a very strong opening to the series against West India, missing the rest of the series.

The 31-year-old took five wickets over the two Tests he played and believes his form vindicates his selection when fit.

"I was always confident [of selection]. I think I showed enough in those couple of Tests I played," Siddle said.

"I had a few niggles in those matches which is a bit annoying personally, but I'm feeling food and confident now that the body is alright."

Siddle said he is still building his way up to 100 per cent fitness but was confident he would be ready in time.

"I had my first bowl on Monday night and I've been running and back in the gym. Training has been fine," he said.

"Hopefully I'm fully 100 per cent fit by the time I get there. I'll get through the [Sheffield] Shield game [for Victoria against Tasmania on February 3] and then get over there."

Siddle said the ankle niggles were nothing serious and felt the extra rest he had taken would hold him in good stead.

The Victorian's selection came alongside that of uncapped South Australian Chadd Sayers and Jackson Bird, as Australia looked to bolster its seamer stocks for New Zealand's grassy wickets.

"[Sayers] has been around a bit. He's not unknown and he's played a lot of Australia A cricket and performed well," Siddle said.

"He's show through his career in first class cricket for South Australia that he's a good wicket taker.

"He's not the fastest bowler but he's got a few tricks. He's consistent, bowls to his field and can get wickets ... and with the wickets that we hear are going to get rolled out for us he might be one of those players along with Jackson Bird that fit the mould for those conditions."

If Siddle and Co. can get the job done, Australia would become the ICC's number one ranked Test team - which would make this Australian side the first to be ranked number one in every form of the game.

"It is exciting. You never cheer too much for other countries, but I've been cheering England on a bit to knock off South Africa," Siddle said.

"It's our chance now to get the job done and prove to the world that we are the number one team and can play at that level."