sport

Siddle desperate for top ranking

Australian quick Peter Siddle has set his sights on helping his country return to the number one Test ranking in a marathon year of cricket.

Jetting off for a four-Test tour of India this month, the Australians follow that effort up with back-to-back Ashes series home and away, before a three-Test tour of South Africa early next year.

The Victorian enjoyed a good Australian summer in the five-day format, claiming nine wickets in two Tests against South Africa and backing that up with 15 in the three-match series with Sri Lanka.

He had to be rested for the third Test against South Africa in Perth after a Herculean effort in the second match in Adelaide, where he almost bowled Australia to victory on the final day.

While stopping short of declaring himself a Test-only player, Siddle said his primary focus for the year ahead was helping his country get back to the top in the long form of the game.

"I want to play every Test match I can, obviously barring the little injury and niggle I had going into Perth, I would have played all six Tests this summer," Siddle said.

"I'm not saying I'll never play one-day cricket again. With the schedule we've got coming up, we've got 17 Test matches from now until pretty much this time next year.

"There's a lot of cricket to be played and I want to get us back to number one and I think for me personally I want to play a lot of Test cricket. I want to try and play as many of those Test matches as I can, if not all of them."

Siddle said a short break after the Sri Lanka series had him primed for the rigours awaiting in 2013 and 2014.

"I had a week off after the Sydney Test and went about sort of freshening up the body and getting everything back to 100% and feeling good," he said.

"I've got a lot of strength back through weights and I've been able to get in a lot of running and plenty of bowling in the nets. The body's feeling great."

And the 28-year-old said he was relishing the prospect of touring India, universally acknowledged as one of the most daunting jobs in world cricket.

"It's always been a big challenge for Australian sides touring over there, and it's no different now," Siddle said.

"I think that's probably what I am looking forward to - how tough it's going to be, how hard it's going to be.

"Obviously the wickets are going to be hard, there's not going to be a lot in there for us (the quicks). Obviously we're going to have to be very patient and controlled with the way we bowl."