Australian fast bowling spearhead Peter Siddle looks forward to the challenging Indian wickets and refrains from sticking his neck out and predicting a score line for the 4-Test series that starts Friday.
Australia's most experienced fast bowler Peter Siddle feels Sachin Tendulkar will be hungry to do well against his side now that the Master Blaster has quit one-day cricket.
Story first published on: Thursday, 21 February 2013 11:25
"Just have a look at his stats, his runs, his centuries, everything about him is such a tremendous record. It was wonderful feeling to get him as my first Test wicket, way back in 2008 when he was batting on 80-odd at Mohali.
"Later in Australia, we were lucky to get him out as it is always hard work to bowl to him. Even then he showed glimpses of the class that he has. So it will be a tough challenge again for us.
"With him playing only Test cricket now, he will be itching to get one back on us after India's disastrous tour of Australia couple of years ago," Siddle told NDTV in an exclusive chat in Melbourne before leaving for India tour.
The attacking speedster admits that pitches in India will be a massive challenge to cope up with.
"The biggest challenge for us will be the wickets in India, since coping with the temperature will not be an issue with us. The temperatures here in Australia go as high at times it is in India so that does not worry us too much, but the pitches will. The closest to an Indian wicket that we have here is Adelaide.
"Touring India is always a tough task and this time around, it is quite unusual for an Australian touring party to have such a young crop of players," he added.
Talking about veterans Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey retiring from international cricket, the 28-year-old says that Australian side has a history of producing great players and now will be no different.
"Obviously, with such big players retiring at the same time, it leaves us with a huge hole to fill. But the history shows once players leave, younger players stand up and perform and become big and great players for us," Siddle said.
With the likes of Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson and Jackson Bird making their way into the Test side, Siddle, as a senior bowler plays a mentoring role for the young quicks, a responsibility which he relishes.
"I want to give as much knowledge as I can with my experience and help them. I remember when I came into the side, I was lucky enough that I was the youngest at 24, and most of the blokes now are even younger than that. I had people like Brett Lee, Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson to work around them by talking to them all day and gaining knowledge.
"I know if the younger bowlers in our team are comfortable and happy in the environment around the group, they will perform at their best," said the Victorian pacer who has 141 wickets in 37 Tests.
Greats like Glenn McGrath have never been shy of predicting series score lines way before the start of a Test series, but Siddle, when asked to make a prediction, had a tough time.
"It will obviously a tough contest between the two teams in India and we have never stomped our authority their but it will all boil down to us winning the series there. It will be hard to predict if it is a 3-1, or a 3-0, or a 2-1 win for us. If we have to win a series in India, even a slender 1-0 margin will do for us.
"Any way you look at it, it will be a hard series for us. People say Ashes is the focus of our team but that's not the case now, as all players are focused to do well in this big series," Siddle concluded with a smile.