PETER Siddle had to summon all of his reknowned fighting spirit just to make it back to his bowling mark late on the final day of the second Test in Adelaide.
But, after two days of recovery, the Australian workhorse has declared himself "ready to go" to "get stuck into the South Africans and get a win on the board" in the third Test, starting in Perth tomorrow.
Siddle finished with match figures of 6-195 from a mammoth 63.5 overs at the Adelaide Oval, and looked exhausted as he bent his back time and time again in search of those final two wickets to give his country the win over the visiting Proteas.
"It was a very dry heat out in the field, which was tough work bowling a lot of overs," Siddle said yesterday.
"It was hard work, but that's Test match cricket.
"I'm always pretty diligent with what I do after games, and what I need to do to prepare for the next match.
"It's all about the recovery straight after ...ice baths and fluids, and sleep's a big factor too, (and) I got plenty of sleep in.
"I'm feeling good. Woke up this morning feeling well."
Alongside fellow Test regular Ben Hilfenhaus, Siddle is one of six pace bowlers vying to play at the WACA.
While James Pattinson is out with a side strain, Mitchell Johnson, John Hastings and Josh Hazlewood have all come into the squad, which also includes Mitch Starc, the 12th man from Adelaide and Brisbane.
The Australian selectors face a tough job trying to decide whether to play four of them or three and leave spinner Nathan Lyon in the line-up.
Siddle said he had "no idea at the moment" of the attack's make-up.
"It just depends how everyone is feeling and what the wicket looks like," he said.
Certainly one player keen to be a part of the pace battery is injury-prone Shane Watson, who returns to the side, at the expense of Rob Quiney.
Recovering from a calf strain that has kept him out of the first two Tests, Watson said yesterday he wasn't about to give up bowling and was determined to remain an all-rounder, something that would help Lyon's cause.
"No, unless something goes very horribly wrong," Watson said.
"I know it puts pressure on my body, but it's something I just love doing."