Siddle backs 'compressed' Sheffield Shield schedule to test fitness of domestic Oz quicks

Melbourne, Oct 30 (ANI): Australian pace bowler Peter Siddle has said he believes that the compressed schedule of the domestic Sheffield Shield tournament will test the fitness of domestic fast bowlers.

The schedule, a consequence of the need to squeeze in six matches back-to-back before the start of the Big Bash League, forced state selectors to implement their own versions of the rest and rotation policy that caused an outcry at the national level last summer.

According to The Age, Siddle said that the schedule will force the bowlers to work hard and will give them a bit of an idea of what it is like to play for the national team, where players frequently play a number of back-to-back Tests.

Siddle further said that there will be times when players will have to miss out the games with little 'niggles', adding that the depth of the squad can be tested in this manner.

The report mentioned that Siddle, who was pulled out of last year's Test against South Africa along with Ben Hilfenhaus, expects to play in Victoria's first two Shield games, then freshen up for the first winter Ashes Test at the Gabba from November 21.

James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Jackson Bird are all sidelined with back injuries for the start of the Ashes, the report added. (ANI)