Since Siddons’ appointment as Head Coach at the beginning of the 2015-16 season, South Australia have made back-to-back Sheffield Shield finals, and two one-day finals.
The Redbacks were forced to settle as runners-up in each of them, but a plummet to the bottom of the Shield table was unforeseen for a side on the brink of success in recent years. A decline that is currently being assessed by the coaching staff, consisting of Siddons’ former teammate Greg Blewett, and former Tasmanian quick Luke Butterworth.
“We’re finding different reasons and at the end of the day we need to develop the depth to carry those guys missing because we want that to continue (Australian selection), but we also need to win finals when we’re in them. There’re certainly some things to work on,” Siddons told SA radio show Rowey and Bicks on FiveAA.
“One of the things we need to look at is that we’ve made two finals, and we’ve lost two finals, and we’re looking at the impact that’s had on the group. To go from losing those and what that’s done to the mindset of the boys. The other thing is that we’ve come out of a one-day final and into the Duke ball so we didn’t really pick up the pieces after that.”
In four out of the five games post BBL break, the Redbacks conceded first innings scores of 371, 342, 293 and 355. They also failed to exceed scores of 300 in six first innings attempts through the season.
However, a heavy weight was left to a young Redbacks side who lost Australian stars Travis Head, Chadd Sayers, Alex Carey, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa at times throughout the summer, something Siddons says has hurt them this season.
“We didn’t make enough runs is the standout but we’re also looking at the numbers at the moment and although our bowlers had some great moments to get us back into the game, we probably didn’t do enough damage in the first innings against opposition.”
SA have also never had to deal with the loss of last year’s leading wicket-taker Chadd Sayers for such an extended period, and despite the incredible rise of Nick Winter, as one example, he concedes there is much that needs to be improved.
“We need to develop our depth, we had Harry Nielsen who came in for Alex Carey and made 100, we had Nick Winter who came in to replace Chadd Sayers and he took four five-fors in five games. Those guys did their job, it’s probably the inconsistency of a few other players.
“We certainly need to be more consistent throughout the whole top six, top seven.
“But we definitely want to stick with our own younger players if we can and that’s certainly our philosophy, is to bring South Australian cricketers through.”
SA still boasts the top-two run-scorers of the competition to date; Callum Ferguson with 780 at 48.75, and Jake Weatherald with 765 at 38.25, proving that the side can be competitive when it all clicks.