The West

Peter Siddle will start the new year primed to spearhead the Australian attack through tough campaigns in India and England and a return Ashes duel.

Although the third Test against Sri Lanka still has to be ticked off and the visitors' talented batting line-up will earn its rightful respect, Siddle is eyeing the coming year.

He has come a significant distance since he was left out of the team in Sri Lanka 18 months ago, inspiring a rebuild of his body and approach to life and the game.

"I guess looking back now, when I came in at 23, you do go about things differently," Siddle said.

"You think it's pretty cruisey and you're happy with where you're at, but it does hit you a few times when you get dropped or you're told some home truths about how you're really going or really looking.

"It's only been the last few years I've probably started to concentrate a lot more and work a lot harder.

"Last year I benefited from all that work I put in and actually concentrating a bit harder on what I had to do to be a professional cricketer and play at the highest level.

"Sometimes those little hiccups along the way do help if you take it the right way and go about changing those things."

Siddle improved so much last year that he claimed 41 wickets in eight Tests, behind only England's James Anderson (48) and South African Vernon Philander (43) among all fast bowlers.

And neither of them matched Siddle's 32 wickets at 18.91 in his six wins.

While Australia's pace rotation policy will continue to vex fans, Siddle accepts it as a reality of the modern age.

At 28 though, he is less likely to be rested than his younger colleagues, whose lower bone density make them more susceptible to overuse injuries.

Mitchell Starc will return to the team tomorrow after his mandatory rest in the second Test, but the use of 10 different quicks in the past 14 months makes it impossible to identify Australia's best attack.

"They've gone through a lot of players and had a lot of success with it," Siddle said. "We've shown in the past 18 months that when blokes go out, the blokes that come in can perform."

The West Australian

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