Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle is back in the Australian squad and hopes to provide some stability to the young team after admitting the side has lacked a bit of leadership in recent times.
Next month’s two-test series against Pakistan will be Australia’s first test match since the ball tampering incident occurred in Cape Town in March this year.
The saga saw three Australian players, including captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner, banned for 12-months- leaving newly appointed coach Justin Langer and captain Tim Paine to pick up the pieces and start all over.
Despite not playing a test for Australia in almost two years, Siddle is the second highest capped player in the squad with 62 tests, only behind spinner Nathan Lyon with 78 caps.
The 33-year old believes it wasn’t just his strong performances in the latest English Country Cricket season which saw him earn a recall to the team, but his ‘lion-hearted character’ also played a part.
Siddle told cricket.com.au coach Justin Langer is looking for good characters and people to be included in his side.
“Just from an outside point of view, the side in the last little bit lacked a little bit of leadership,” Siddle said.
“I think having the (tag of) captain or the vice-captain or any of those terms (next to your name), it’s just about being a leader in your own right.
“Just doing what I do, lead by example, help out the young guys and help out the group. It’s stuff I normally do, but you just want to get the right things done.”
The decision on who will be Paine’s vice-captain has already been made but remains behind closed doors before expecting to be revealed within the coming weeks.
Shane Watson, who was Michael Clarke’s vice-captain in 2011 and 2013 believes Paine should be the one to determine who he wants as his deputy.
The former test allrounder spoke to News Corp saying selectors have gotten it wrong on several occasions over recent years.
“I really believe the captain should have a massive influence because then there’s more chance of getting that dynamic right,” Watson said.
“They make the decision which is the wrong one and in the end it means there’s tension in the leadership group, which is the opposite to what you need.
“You want people complimenting each other to help get the best out of the leadership group, not pulling in different ways.”
With Australia trying to rebuild their on-field image, the decision of who they elect as vice-captain is key into seeing what type of culture will be created around the young team.
The challenges seem to keep coming Australia’s way as they are currently preparing to take on Pakistan A in a four-day tour match before their UAE series begins, where despite improvements, haven’t enjoyed much success.
Siddle first made his debut in sub-continent conditions against India in Mohali a decade ago, and is hopeful he can pass on some words of wisdom even if he isn’t selected in the team for the first test.
The fast bowler states he’s played in these conditions a lot in the past and can provide some much needed experience during the first test.
“I got to play under some great guys in my first ever Test tour; ‘Haydos’ (Matthew Hayden) and ‘Punter’ (Ricky Ponting) and Brett Lee – guys like that who played a lot cricket,” Siddle said.
“I’ve taken a lot of knowledge from them and hopefully I can pass on a bit of that to these guys and watch them go forward.
“Hopefully just being around the group and just giving a bit of knowledge about conditions (is helpful).”
Siddle has also given high praise for Langer who has the difficult task of remodeling Australian Test Cricket.
“It’s always fresh when a new person comes in and their personality and the way they coach and want to lead the team,” Siddle said.
“It always gives a good vibe around the group. He’s very intense, people can understand the way he went about the game when he played, how switched on and how hard he worked.
“He knows his plans, he knows the way he wants the team to go. The boys are getting a good feel for that over the first couple of days.”