Australia's Siddle says Trott troubles fair game
Australia will leave no stone unturned to find ways of unsettling England during the Ashes, even if it involves raising the sensitive issue of Jonathan Trott's troubles out on the field.
England's number three batsman left the tour this week to deal with a stress-related illness after failing twice with the bat during his team's 381-run loss in the first Test in Brisbane.
Australia's David Warner was condemned by England captain Alastair Cook and team director Andy Flower for publicly criticising Trott's batting, and England seamer Stuart Broad expressed his hopes that the hosts would not use the batsman's travails as a weapon.
However, Australia paceman Peter Siddle gave short shrift to the idea of Trott being a taboo topic, suggesting anything was fair game in the heat of battle.
"Another thing there is it's a battle out on the field and we'll go about it how we think it will work," Siddle told reporters on Friday beneath the statue of Dennis Lillee at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
"We'll just keep playing hard cricket. We'll keep putting the pressure on them. We'll keep going from there.
"It's disappointing for him to be going home, I wish him all the best, but we're going out there trying to win Test matches and however we do that we'll play hard, aggressive cricket and hopefully get the win at the end of the day."
Image: Peter Siddle
Photographs: Phil Noble/Reuters
Targetting Cook and Pietersen
Trott's departure after a prolonged struggle for form prompted an outpouring of sympathy from former players but has not curbed Australia's determination to be aggressive in deed and word out in the middle.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann rejected any suggestion that he and Flower ought to meet before the second Test in Adelaide to work out ground rules on sledging and said he was content so long as his players confined it to the field.
Siddle also ratcheted up the tension by suggesting Australia's bowlers had the measure of Cook and England's aggressive number four batsman Kevin Pietersen.
After scoring 13 in the first innings at the Gabba, Cook hit England's top score of 65 in the second, while Pietersen was dismissed for 18 and 26.
"I think the biggest danger is Alastair Cook at the top and Kevin Pietersen. They're the two we've probably targeted the most in the last couple of series and sort of got on top of.
"That'll be no different here. We've just got to try to keep working them over, keep the pressure on them, keep building, hopefully keep the success going."
The second Test starts in Adelaide on December 5.
Image: Kevin Pietersen
Photographs: Scott Barbour/Getty Images