The Investec Ashes 2013

Will Siddle be all right on the night?

Daniel Brettig in Nottingham

July 8, 2013

Comments: 91 | Text size: A | A

Peter Siddle grabbed a five-for, Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Hobart, 3rd day, December 16, 2012
Peter Siddle has been a high-class performer for Australia over the past 18 months © AFP
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Question: who is the ICC's top-ranked bowler among those about to contest this Investec Ashes series? Answer: Peter Siddle.

A lofty perch of fifth in the world, above even Graeme Swann and Jimmy Anderson, quantifies exactly how well Siddle has sustained his quality over the past 18 months, and why much of the speculation about his place in the Australian Test side has been just that. Some quiet displays for Australia A and the touring party before the team bus reached Nottingham were a source of mild concern, but there was a distinct sense of moving through the gears about how Siddle drove through the crease on the tourists' first training day at Trent Bridge.

Australia's vice-captain Brad Haddin faced Siddle, James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc as the selectors' apparent preferred attack built up considerable pace and notable swing. Having watched Siddle throughout the trip - he was also captain of Australia A - Haddin spoke unstintingly of the Victorian as not only a guaranteed starter but the most pivotal member of the Australian pace battery.

"He's a pretty seasoned campaigner so he cranked it up a bit leading into the Test match. He'll be ready to go," Haddin said. "He knows exactly how to get up for a Test match and his preparation has been spot on since we got here with the A tour. His experience and his ranking in the world shows he is a very consistent performer at this level.

"I think you can judge different players by where they're at in their careers. Sometimes guys need to get some wickets and feel confident going into big games but Siddle, he's proved himself over a long time now. He knows exactly where he's at. I wouldn't read too much into the actual stats of the A tour and the two tour games here.

"He knows what to do to get right for a Test. He knows what to do to get through and win Tests. He's a class act and has been for a long time. We can dance around the issue but he's our most experienced bowler and he's proven at this level."

For his part, Siddle has acknowledged he did not bowl well against Somerset, but he is far from the first senior pace bowler to deliver an indifferent display in a tour match. The question now is whether Siddle can ramp up his speed, rhythm and swing on cue at Trent Bridge, where his durability will be a vital counterpoint to the youthful fury of Pattinson and Starc.

Craig McDermott, who was instrumental in Siddle's evolution from wrecking ball to something more accomplished during his stint as Australia's bowling coach from 2011-12, expected his pupil would be capable of lifting himself at precisely the right moment.

"Sids has been our best and most consistent bowler for the last two years and is a big game player," McDermott told ESPNcricinfo. "He knows his game very well but like most people needs to be reassured on occasions. He needs to bowl fourth and fifth stump and full, finish off his action properly - pace will follow from there - and he will be fine. I'm backing him to do well."

Australia will hope Siddle goes the way of McDermott's old pace partner Merv Hughes, who shrugged off an indifferent start to the 1993 tour to deliver a lionhearted series for Allan Border, rather than that of Jason Gillespie, never a factor in 2005 after his form and confidence ebbed away early.

"I know I was off my game," Siddle told the Age last week of his Taunton display. "In a way, they do know what I can do, but I still have to show in these next few training sessions that I'm up and about, that it's coming out well and I'm ready to go for that first Test. I think no matter who plays the first one, it's not going to be the line-up that finishes it off at the end. All five of us, even six with Jimmy Faulkner in there, are a massive chance of playing throughout this series."

Of those six, only Siddle knows what it means to be on the losing end of an England tour. It is worth noting that in 2009, as a much less precise operator than he is today, Siddle still managed to scoop 20 wickets, striking every 48.5 deliveries. The painful memories of that defeat, arriving in the final Test of a series punctuated by missed Australian opportunities, have stayed with Siddle, just as they have with Haddin.

"You can't get rid of them, no matter what you try to do," Haddin said. "Sitting in The Oval losing the Ashes, it hurts. And there's only one way you can get that back, and that's by getting that urn back. I don't use that hurt or anything as motivation, you don't need much more motivation than coming over on this campaign, but it does hurt and it will hurt forever I think. So I'd love to win this one to take a little bit of that hurt away."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 4:41 GMT)

@R_U_4_REAL_NICK Yeah you are right...Jackson Bird should of played instead of Mitchell Starc. Darren Lehmann's influence on selection has been found wanting in many ways. Agar...WTF? Anyways if Bird had played; Australia would of been able to control Englands scoring rate a lot better and consequently could of shaved a further 70-80 Runs of Englands total bowling in tandem with Siddle. Lehmann and the selectors are jumping at shadows instead of playing their best team and are trying to pull rabbits out of a hat when none are needed. Lyon if played probably would of had wickets next to his name also. The problem with Starc is it takes him too long into a match to find his best form.

Posted by Chris_P on (July 11, 2013, 3:04 GMT)

@H_Z_O. Yes, where are the Siddle knockers? Agree with you, Siddle may not have the class or talent of many others, but he is 100% heart & never gives up, he never lets a poor spell get him down (his first spell a good example). And you're right, who wouldn't have the grit & tenacity of someone like him in their bowling line-up? Not too bad for a Victorian I concede *G*. Having seen both Goughy & Anderson, give me Gough every time. He has Siddle like qualities, plus more talented & a HUGE heart, just my take on the pair, although not knocking Anderson at all.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 10, 2013, 20:52 GMT)

His five-fer today aside, you really can't keep a guy like this out of the team anyway - especially when the replacements are mostly short-spell specialists. The only other guy Aus. have whom I reckon is inexplicably overlooked for tests, and could replace Siddle like-for-like in terms of robustness and effort is... Clint McKay. Bird also looks promising, but I see him more as a suitable replacement for Starc.

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 10, 2013, 19:01 GMT)

I take it back. Goughie's clearly better than Anderson. Jimmy took four balls to get Clarke out. Goughie would have had him out first ball. Not like the man scored two back to back double centuries against the best pace bowling attack in the world, is it? Nah, any "average" bowler could get him out for a fourth ball duck.

That was almost literally an unplayable delivery to get out an Australian captain in an Ashes Test, an Australian captain who averaged 106 in the last calendar year. If that makes Gough a "far gutsier competitor" under pressure then I'm the Queen.

And I'm not saying that to demean Siddle, by the way. I said all along, and stand by this, that he absolutely has to play for you guys. And while Pattinson was wayward, there was some scary stuff too (though Cook really should have left that).

Rogers was unlucky to be out (should have had the benefit of the doubt) but the third ump couldn't overturn it.

Good absorbing day's cricket. Looking forward to more of the same.

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 10, 2013, 15:54 GMT)

In answer to the headline, a resounding "Yes". This is the kind of performance that makes Siddle a captain's dream, and this is exactly why I'd have him in my England team any day of the week. He never lets up, keeps the pressure on batsmen and it inevitably leads to batsmen playing rash shots (KP, Trott and Prior are all guilty).

Combined with a few absolute peaches (Root) he's a constant threat.

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 10, 2013, 14:39 GMT)

Wonder if those calling for Siddle to be left out are reconsidering right about now?

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 10, 2013, 9:59 GMT)

@Jono Makim Goughie was a competitor, make no mistake, and I rate him highly amongst England bowlers. Notice I didn't say comparing him to Anderson was an insult (because it isn't).

There was a long period of time where Harmison, in particular, was favoured just because he bowled 90 miles an hour. Didn't matter that he sprayed it. Imagine if the selectors left Bird behind and picked Mitchell Johnson instead. Exactly.

Hoggard, on the other hand, deserved to play those Tests but his record doesn't match up, and he'd be the first to admit Anderson's a better bowler. In fact the really funny thing is most of the guys you've been saying are better, among his contemporaries, have consistently said he's a better bowler.

@Meety yeah, I can agree with that, but would you rate Kallis amongst the top 10 greatest all-rounders? What about Tendulkar amongst batsmen? What about Botham and Willis amongst English bowlers? Both have said Anderson's better. That says it all, in my opinion.

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 10, 2013, 9:40 GMT)

@Jono Makim I never said Gough didn't face a team with a strong batting line-up. I said he'd never faced an Australian side with more than one batsman averaging over 50. And that's true. The Headingley Test you linked to? Hayden averaged 37 back then. Ponting? 42. None of that batting lineup averaged 50 at the time, and Katich was on debut.

When he did face a batsman averaging over 50, in the Oval Test you linked to, that batsman top-scored with 157* and Gough ended with figures of 1-113.

But if we're going to exchange scoredcards:

3-98 in a series where England were getting beaten from pillar to post by a side containing Hayden averaging 53, Ponting 59, Hussey 79.85 and Gilchrist 50.18. He had an awful series (5 at 85) but that was mostly because Fred played favourites with Harmison. Got the new ball just twice in the series, including Sydney.

Anderson's bowled at Khawaja once. Match figures of 7-127, including Khawaja.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

@H_Z_O, Neither of Roach or Pattinson will be breaking those kinds of records, their actions simply aren't economical and smooth enough to bowl their way to 500+ wickets.

Darren Gough never bowled against a team with a strong batting line - up?! Check out these scorecards, my friend!

These batting line ups are a million miles in front of the ones Australia has fielded in the last two ashes series. Goughie was a far gutsier competitor than Anderson has ever been.

Also, I don't possibly see why it is such a huge insult to Anderson, to be compared to Hoggard and Harmison? There was a long period of time when these guys were bowling so well that Anderson couldn't get a game in front of them, both taking well over 200+ career wickets. Both of them probably wish they could have lined up with the new ball against Watson, Khawaja et al instead of Hayden and Langer!

Posted by Meety on (July 10, 2013, 1:10 GMT)

@H_Z_O on (July 9, 2013, 9:44 GMT) - from a non-stat analysis on Eng. bowlers - I'd have Anderson below Gough. I think Anderson will end up being England's most prolific bowler (unless Swanny plays on), but he will NEVER be England's greatest - that title belongs to the likes of Barnes, Bedser, & Trueman. (Just realised this was debated with Jono). So in summary Prolific v Greatest is different categories. Kallis is the most prolific allrounder of all time, but I would rate Keith Miller, Imran Khan & Sobers as greater. Just to stir up some grief - Tendulkar is the most prolific batsmen of all time, BUT - he is not the Greatest - that would be Bradman, & of modern times you would argue that Lara was the greatest.

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 9, 2013, 21:04 GMT)

@Jono Makim Just to mop up a few loose ends:

Sidebottom's strike rate is worse, Hoggard and Harmison both took less wickets at a worse average. That comparison is almost as insulting to Anderson as comparing him to McGrath or Steyn is to those guys (he's not in their league).

Steve Finn could be "great"? Thought you guys didn't rate him ;). I agree he's got a lot of potential and I could definitely see him overtaking Anderson one day. But he clearly isn't there yet. If he was you guys wouldn't be talking about Anderson being our only threat and Finn and Broad being useless.

McGrath and Pollock were great bowlers, and Steyn still is. They're all comfortably better than Anderson, but none of them can be considered England's greatest. As they're not English. ;)

Shoaib's average and strike rate are brilliant. Pity he only played 46 of the 81 Tests Pakistan played during his career.

I reckon Pattinson might break McGrath's record. Will he be your greatest? What if Roach breaks Walsh's?

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 9, 2013, 20:47 GMT)

@Jono Makim My point about different eras was strictly about Willis and Trueman, who you mentioned. And I agree, a guy who averages more than 30 can't be great, but that's not what I said earlier. I said if Anderson keeps performing as he has in the last couple of years (big if) he's on track to become England's leading wicket-taker with an average close to Botham's. Maybe I wasn't clear; by "close to" I did the maths and he's projected to average 28.6. And the same projection sees him end with 3.8 wickets per match. Less than 4, but only three English bowlers have better; Snow, Trueman and Gough.

Caddick and Gough did play in weak teams, you're right. They also faced weaker ones. Gough has a better record against Australia than Anderson. But when you look closer, you'll see only one Aussie batsman he bowled at averaged over 50. Jimmy's never faced an Aussie side with less than 3 of them, until now.

He's on track to be our greatest bowler, imho. Whether he does is up to him now.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

@H_Z_O, Sure, things change, but lots of things stay the same too. There are critical markers, a guy averaging 30+ and taking less than 4 wickets an over can not be a great bowler, not in any era. Even the likes of Gough and Caddick averaged under 30 and they played in some very weak teams. Hoggard and Harmison averaged 30 and 31 respectively with 200+ wickets each. Sidebottom and Finn average 28 each. None of these guys are anything more than good bowlers, though Finn could become very good, if not great and yet Jimmy doesn't have better stats than any of them really, he has just played more games. Plenty of guys around that have had long careers whose time in the game has overlapped Anderson but with far better records. McGrath, Pollock, Steyn, Shoaib for example are streets ahead while young blokes like Finn, Pattinson, Roach etc are all taking wickets well under the 30 mark and will likely continue to. Things do change, but not that much!

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 9, 2013, 13:33 GMT)

@Jono Makim Yeah, but unlike Lee his Test career isn't over yet ;). I see your point about highest wicket taker v greatest bowler, but I'd say the game has never been more batsman-friendly. Pitches are flatter, there's more protective gear, they go off for even the slightest hint of bad light or drizzle, the bats are bigger, and the emergence of T20 has made batsman more adept at attacking. Hard to compare that with Willis and Trueman really.

Trueman played with Hutton, Compton, Barrington, May, Cowdrey, Dexter, Statham, Laker and Lock at various points in his career. Other than Australia and the Windies the other sides were all fodder (they were still developing the game). Those things are definite factors to consider.

Willis never took a 10-wicket haul in 90 Tests, and took 16 5-fors and 12 4-fors. Anderson has a 10-wicket haul and in 82 Test has 13 5-fors and 17 4-fors. While you can look at averages and strike rates, big bags of wickets are what decimate batting lineups.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2013, 11:15 GMT)

H_Z_O, Greatest bowler or highest wicket taker? Big difference! I'm sure Anderson is nowhere near to being England's greatest bowler, not even in the top ten I wouldn't have thought. Career stats pretty similar to Brett Lee's at the moment and I don't think any Aussie fans will recall him as a great bowler. Its only the amount of tests played these days and not the quality of the bowler that sees him going past guys like Bob Willis, John Snow, Fred Trueman, Frank Tyson et al.

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 9, 2013, 11:03 GMT)

@Mitty2 You say "What if Siddle hadn't to take take up the slack for Johnson and Starc?" but Anderson's had to bowl with Broad and Finn! The closest he's come to having support from someone like Bird was when he had Bresnan and Tremlett in the last two Tests of the 2010 Ashes and he got 12 wickets @ 20 in those!

And he's never had anyone of Pattinson's threat to bowl with. Tremlett's probably the closest, but even at his quickest he wasn't as fast as Pattinson. I was thinking to myself earlier how scary an attack of Steyn, Anderson and Pattinson would be.

I disagree about Anderson being able to attack as much as he likes too. If he had someone like Siddle (who I'd have in my combined attack) and knew that the other end would be kept consistently tight he'd be able to, but even he must know Broad and Finn are liable to leak runs and he has to be the one to keep the pressure on.

That's why Siddle has to play for you lot. It gives Pattinson, in particular, license to go for the throat.

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 9, 2013, 10:44 GMT)

@Meety yeah, I know the comparison's been made, I just think it's a ridiculous one (and comparing to McGrath even more so). Saker saying it is one thing, coaches do that, and I'd put that along with McGrath always predicting 5-0, but journalists and fans should know better.

Steyn has 332 wickets at 22.65, S/R 41. Anderson 307 at 30.14, S/R 58.5. Steyn's S/R is the best of any bowler with more than 300 Test wickets.

I agree about Siddle v Anderson and their importance. I'd rate Anderson as being slightly better but not much. I think one of the reasons Anderson's so highly rated in England is that he should end his career as England's leading Test wicket-taker at an average and strike rate similar to Botham's. His average has been steadily coming down and he got 40 wickets last year. Another couple of years (he's only 30) and he'll be there or thereabouts. He won't be a great bowler, but he will be England's greatest bowler (probably). Says a lot, really.

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 9, 2013, 10:34 GMT)

@FrankWoods I was just thinking the same thing earlier and my team was pretty much the same. I'd have had Pietersen at 4 and Clarke at 5 just because that's where they both prefer to bat, and I made a definite choice of Root at 6. Starc would be my 12th man.

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 9, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

@bonobo I agree, we're nuts if we underestimate them. If nothing else they gave the Saffers a tough, hard-contested series. Can we say the same?

@malomay Yep. My combined attack would actually be Anderson, Pattinson, Siddle and Swann (and if I wanted a second spinner Lyon would be in ahead of Panesar). If your batsmen give them runs, your bowlers could win you the series, no doubt.

@ScottStevo I'm not knocking Siddle, mate. I'd say he's as important to your attack as Pattinson is (what's more exciting about Pattinson is the potential; he's still very young and will only get better). Great point about stats not telling the whole story. There's the stuff you said, but also who you face. People point out 2006/07 and the awful 5 wickets at 83, but I reckon Siddle might have had a tough time bowling to that batting lineup! I consider that 2006/07 Aussie vintage to be the greatest side of all time, yes, even over the great Windies sides.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

Peter Siddle is an honest toiler, he is a good bowler in a poor team. The reason he bowls himself to exhaustion is he needs to be at that point to get wickets as he is not as naturally gifted as a Patterson or Starc. He has a dreadful record against England (Averages about 45 per wicket). He is a great bloke with a terrific team ethic, but that won't win the Ashes. I will stand corrected if he gets a bucket full of wickets.

Posted by Moppa on (July 9, 2013, 9:22 GMT)

Lots of well-informed and interesting comments here. But, for all the discussion, I think Australia's pace bowling equation is fairly simple: Pattinson, Siddle, Bird (plus Lyon) is the best Trent Bridge line-up. Pattinson plays as the spearhead. Siddle plays as the workhorse we'll need if Cook/Trott/Root etc. get set. As many have pointed out, he has been so reliable for this attack for a long time (and @Ozcricketwriter, I'm a big Harris fan, but the critical difference is durability). The puzzle is why the selectors seem determined to play Starc. Bird is suited to England, different to Pattinson and Siddle, and reliable.

Posted by Batmanian on (July 9, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

@Naveed Khan, each to their own. I don't remember jumping on an IPL or Caribbean Tri-series bulletin board to complain about how much coverage they were getting. One of the reasons why this Ashes is so exciting for Australian fans is we know we may soon enough have to go into despondency mode, like for the recent India tour - we know it's not the best squad Australia's ever fielded, but they can still take it to England if things go right.

Posted by Big-Dog on (July 9, 2013, 8:15 GMT)

I thought the Australian selectors had learned from their mistakes of selecting players on stats rather than current form but apparently not. If Warner & Siddle are selected for the first test, Australia may as well pack up & go home.

Posted by Mitty2 on (July 9, 2013, 7:30 GMT)

@milhouse79, you already know that I'm one of the more optimistic Aus fans on here (from previous arguments), so just give me the Watson and starc bagging please, the rest I'm fine with :). Anyway, I've said on numerous occasions that starc will be an absolute gun in three years, but right now he is too similar to MJ and doesnt warrant selection. I will be extremely happy if he does well in this series (although I doubt it) after his hammering in India and will give him his deserved congratulations. On the other hand, no matter how well Watson does in this series, the division and derision he has caused in this side can not be forgiven.

@sunshine_pom, oh c'mon, I'm allowed a few exaggeration a every here and now!

Posted by   on (July 9, 2013, 7:27 GMT)

ESPNCricinfo is providing too much coverage to Ashes. As exciting as the series could be, with its history and legacy, I fathom it will be one-sided series with England prevailing. Australian weakness is their captain, unimaginative in team selection and in bowling attack. Australian Bowling attack is pacy but dull, they have very similar bowlers. There is little variety and their is no 'guile', little subtlety, and absolutely no menace. It is an attack of the robots.

Posted by Rowayton on (July 9, 2013, 6:27 GMT)

The comparison of Starc's limited over and test/first class record is interesting. Maybe it's down to play by the numbers captaincy, setting fields that allow Starc to leak runs. The big difference between limited overs and test cricket bowling is the field setting. In tests captains seem to think you have to set what Australian used to call the Carmody field for fast bowlers - that is, most of the fielders behind the wicket. I wonder if any captain would be brave enough to set one day fields for Starc in test cricket. If a bloke's bowling fast, full inswingers, do you really need more than one slip and a gully? Let's see him bowl with a cover, mid off, mid on and midwicket right from the beginning and see what happens.

Posted by Mitty2 on (July 9, 2013, 6:13 GMT)

This time I'll comment on the story.

Siddle is versatile, and can be attacking or defensive, and his experience is obviously of immense importance considering the lack of experience in the other bowlers. The problem is is that starc will be selected, and that almost definitely means that siddle will have to bowl defensively (short), which will make him innocuous. Starc creates a chasm - an imbalance - in the attack and adversely affects everyone. The only way to counter this imbalance is to put bird in. Bird has a mouth watering record and was man of the match in just his second test, but it is his style that is so effective. The consensus at his debut was: "he would dominate in england', more importantly, he can bowl his style and counter the starc issue whilst also being threatening to take wickets - siddle doesn't have this ability

As I said, ideally there would be no starc, but considering that there is, bird has to play. Siddle's only advantage would be his mentor role.

Posted by Mitty2 on (July 9, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

@HZO, once again, your comments are right an balanced! Yes, I shouldn't be comparing the two, as we all know that statistics aren't everything; however, I believe that their respective positions in the team evoke comparisons. On @meety's point about worth to the team, it is huge and equal in significance, but the both play different roles and thus there will be a discrepancy in records. What if Anderson hadnt had his action changed? What if siddle had in the last three years better bowlers (such as bird, patto, etc) to partner up with instead of taking up the slack for Johnson and starc? What if they bowled for the opposite teams? Siddle is a necessary product of a mediocre team - he provides leadership, grit, determination and sets a precedent; whereas Anderson is eng's best bowler and can be as attacking as possible because he usually he has got a good score to bowl to. I can only think that siddle would dominate at a better team and for this I rate him higher.

Posted by kensohatter on (July 9, 2013, 5:42 GMT)

Australia need Siddle to do the grunt work and had experience to a young attack. If and when England bats start to get on top of the youngsters its Sids who can be called apon to re establish lines and length to not lose consecutive sessions. The talk in this thread about Sayers, Faulkner and Bird is crazy... They are all good bowlers but you cant go into an ashes test with no experience to navigate the ship. For me Bird goes in for Starc or Pattinson, Harris for Sids but only if form from our top 3 warrants it

Posted by Meety on (July 9, 2013, 5:25 GMT)

@ H_Z_O on (July 8, 2013, 19:41 GMT) - I think you'll find Mittys comment about Anderson > Steyn - comes from articles from Hopps & Steen who have done more than their share of comparisons & have taken glee in quoting Saker who basically DID say that Anderson was better than Steyn. Look for the archives & you'll see that it was said AND that it was heavily defended by many English (majority) fans. IMO - Steyn is that good he is almost already an all time great, which puts him light years ahead of the rest of the pacers playing atm. The debate should be about who is the 2nd best pacer in the world. Anderson v Siddle? - they go about their business in different ways, their importance to their respective attacks is almost exactly the same - they are crucial. IMO - Siddle is very underrated by all & sundry, whereas Anderson gets a ton of praise from England & a lot of derision outside of the old dart. Steen even compared Anderson to McGrath!!!

Posted by   on (July 9, 2013, 4:23 GMT)

Siddle will prob not go down as a memorable bowler in cricket history but his stats, and more than that, his work ethic and durability, must be admired. I ll reiterate a comment in relation to another cricinfo article - Siddle should be the vice captain of this Aust team. He works hard and is the perfect role model for other junior members of the squad. He has also been around the block a bit so can draw on experience too.

Posted by Broken_F-ing_Arm on (July 9, 2013, 3:42 GMT)

Interesting talk about who to pick Siddle/Anderson. Anderson has better stats in the last 4 years but Siddle does play on much flatter wickets. I think an interesting tour match would be if a combined Aus/Eng XI tour South Africa as they are by far the dominant force in world cricket at the moment. My combined Aus/Eng XI Watson Cook Trott Clarke (c) Pieterson Warner/Root Prior Siddle Swann Pattinson Anderson Broad (12th man)

Posted by Chris_P on (July 9, 2013, 3:10 GMT)

@landl47 Good points about Siddle. He has banked plenty of credit & in reality, his recent test form justifies his inclusion, he also lends the experience for Starc & Pattinson who are both 23. He will, however, have to produce to retain his spot as Bird is a player to watch. Harris I can see playing at Lords, the pace bowling doesn't worry me, because I would be happy with any combination, & there is plenty of talent not even in England (Copeland & Cummins cone to mind). The batting & the way they will play is the greatest concern, the bowling line-ups are about par (although I think our lot are on the rise) but we are way behind on the batting, & that is going to be the key to the series. If England cope better than our guys, it is going to be a long one for us.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (July 9, 2013, 3:04 GMT)

If we look at the records of the Australian bowlers, we have:

Pattinson - test and FC average just over 20, star of the recent Indian series where he was the only good bowler. Starc - ODI and T20 averages sub 20, but in tests he has a poor average - but some amazing returns. Question mark over whether he is a limited overs specialist or has just been unlucky. Also left armer, who traditionally do well in England. Bird - new to test cricket but already has a sub 20 test and FC average and is described as being a Glenn McGrath clone. Harris - average of around 25 in test cricket, only issue is injury, otherwise Australia's best test bowler.

Those 4 are clearly ahead of Siddle. So how does Siddle play? Only way to justify it is if Harris is injured. Do you play both and leave Starc out? But then you've got 2 similar bowlers, and the variety is lacking.

Also don't forget James Faulkner, who is in amazing form.

Posted by wellrounded87 on (July 9, 2013, 1:06 GMT)

I really don't understand why Starc is considered a sure selection. He is a liability, another mitchell johnson except he has yet to put in the one of a kind performance that MJ did against South Africa.

Sure his ODI form has been good but haven't we learned yet that ODI form does not translate into test form. Completely different beasts and the english batsmen will likely love Starcs wayward bowling.

Personally i'd go with a four pace attack in Harris, Pattinson, Siddle/Bird and Sayers.

Sayers is a weapon and he proved it in the A tour, give him a run.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2013, 0:12 GMT)

Siddle will be remembered as one of the greats in the game when he retires

Posted by ScottStevo on (July 8, 2013, 23:39 GMT)

@HZO, twice as many wickets, from twice as many tests, mate! It's fine to say he has more wickets, but as you say, lets look at the stats in context! As I've already said, Jimmy improved to no end from his early days. That's not to say Siddle can/will/can't/won't, so you can't judge. What we can judge is comparative stats at the same point in their careers. After 41 tests: Siddle - 150 28.84 3.00 57.6 Anderson 140 34.34 3.46 59.4. On stats, Anderson is lagging behind, mate. That doesn't prove who, at this point in time is a better bowler, but those knocking Siddle should think twice, as he's doing better than a lot of those considered far better than he. That said, stats in cricket only ever tell half the story. I've seen bowlers have the game of their lives and not pick up wickets as they were too good and edges ran through vacant areas and conceded boundaries - I'm sure you get my drift. At present, I'd have Anderson...but Siddle is def a bowler worthy of recognition by the poms

Posted by ToneMalone on (July 8, 2013, 23:22 GMT)

The Australian pacemen most likely to cut through England's batting line-up are Pattinson, Harris and (it increasingly appears) Bird. Fitness & endurance are factors that might prevent all three playing - but I think Australia's best pace attack would include at least two of these three players.

Starc has huge potential but is hot and cold. Siddle seems to take a lot of his wickets through persistence, ie, once the opposition have already scored a decent total.

The most likely pace line-up appears to be Pattinson, Siddle and Starc. My concern with this trio is that, unless Starc is on song, Pattinson will be the only bowler truly beating England's batsmen through pace and late movement. Especially given Australia's shaky batting line-up, the selectors need to be more aggressive with their pace selections.

Posted by malomay on (July 8, 2013, 23:18 GMT)

@ H_Z_O - what ! An English supporter on here making well thought out & perfectly reasonable comments ! What next. Where's FrontFootLunch to balance things out again ? Seriously though, I agree with you. Stats do not & never have told the full story. Anderson is the best bowler going into this First Test no doubt about it. But from there the pace attack flattens out a bit. I still maintain that Broad is overrated, and for precisely the reasons you mentioned. Too short & is very hittable. Please don't tell him to pitch it up. :-)

Posted by   on (July 8, 2013, 22:59 GMT)

Just a classic example of a workhorse cricketer. Best wishes to Siddle for the Ashes. I am sure he would relish the opportunity to spear head the Aussie pace attack.

Posted by bonobo on (July 8, 2013, 22:50 GMT)

I think everyone needs to remember how well this Australian team had been doing until the India series. It is arguably the leanest period talentwise, the Aussies have gone through, but with Clarkes enthusiasm, they won their homes series convincingly and gave an outstanding and very experienced South African team a real run for their money, for out performing. In fact if you take away the contrasting performances in India, a very different set of conditions, it is arguable they have been a better team than England over the last 18 months. Clearly Clarke aside, the batting is weak on paper, but the fast bowling has been quite oustanding in the last 18 months, and Siddle has been the figurehead. The series is starting in July, not May and the pucthes will be flatter and harder, and as Englands fans we should really not underestimate the value of the extra pace the Aussies have. There should be no question mark over Siddle, if anything you can say that Starc is the one who is fortunate

Posted by hhillbumper on (July 8, 2013, 22:08 GMT)

who cares who you for man greatest bowling attack ever.At least when written in the papers

Posted by   on (July 8, 2013, 22:02 GMT)

just to add my vote for Sids here. He's a work horse and has been our best old ball bowler for the last 3 years.

Posted by wibblewibble on (July 8, 2013, 21:38 GMT)

Siddle has been excellent for Aus when others have been found lacking. He never stops giving 100% of his effort, and doesn't even drop off in 4th or 5th spells. That consistent perseverance and determination gets him wickets, batsmen just can't get him out of the attack and eventually runs slow down and wickets happen, the magic of Test cricket. For me, Aus attack has to be Siddle, Pattinson, Starc and Lyon. If they bat Haddin at 6, Faulkner at 7 it truly will be 10-0 as Botham suggests.

Personally I think Cook and Root will have the lot of them on toast anyway. Roll on Wednesday!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (July 8, 2013, 21:21 GMT)

The India tour turned Siddle in damaged goods, you have to look no further than that series to know the difference between him and Anderson, who is an acclaimed flat-deck or green top specialist. Siddle will give you up and down all day at 3.5 an over, with maybe a wicket. Sounds like the best Oz have got right now.

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 8, 2013, 20:41 GMT)

@Mitty2 And I don't think Jimmy's better than Steyn. Right now Steyn's the best of the bunch and if anyone's going to take that crown I'd back your boy Pattinson. But as much as I rate Siddle (he'd be in my England attack any day of the week), Jimmy has proven himself to be a better bowler. Not by much, granted, and it may well be reversed by the end of this back-to-back series as Siddle's improved as a bowler no end, thanks in no small part to McDermott's stint as coach. Your whole attack looks a lot better since then (because you're finally pitching it up!). Maybe we could get him to have a word with Broad while he's at it, as a favour to the old colonials. He needs to bowl it fuller too.

Posted by ScottStevo on (July 8, 2013, 20:38 GMT)

@Sunshine_Pom, nope, you don't need to be a genius, but how much has Anderson improved from the garbage he was in his first 20 odd tests? When he came to Aus early in his career, he was complete filth and we treated him as such. But he's improved dramatically as he's gained experience. Who's to say Siddle won't improve also? If you factor in rate of improvement, I'm sure your "simple" math would get blown to pieces. As it is, the stat on this thread shows Siddle has bested Anderson in the last 2 years, when Anderson has apparently been at his peak... That said, I would pick Anderson over Siddle in a heartbeat as Anderson is a wicket taker and can rip top orders apart. Siddle is more of a quiet achiever, but obviously getting a job done. He's first choice of the Aussie bowlers, then Pattinson. For me, Starc is next as he too is a genuine wicket taker. Bird first cab off the rank and Harris will only play if Siddle is injured - same type of bowler...

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 8, 2013, 20:36 GMT)

@Mitty2 Not quite every statistic. Twice as many Test wickets. And if we're fair to both of them and look at Anderson's last 151 wickets they came at 25.3 and a S/R of 56.5 (Siddle's got 150 at 28.84 and a S/R of 57.6). Anderson made his debut at 20, Siddle 24. Lots of people (myself included) have defended Lyon's record when compared to Swann by pointing out that Swann made his debut at 29, older than Lyon is now (Lyon made his debut at 23). Seems fair to do the same comparing Siddle with Anderson.

And if you think that's being overly friendly to Jimmy, since Siddle's debut, Jimmy's record stands at 203 wickets at 27.9 and a strike rate of 59.4. In other words more wickets at a better average than Siddle during the same period.

People point out the 2009 series (Siddle took 20 at 31, Anderson 12 at 45) but why not also look at 2010? Siddle took 14 at 35, Anderson 24 at 26. Siddle's 34 at 33 is no better than Anderson's 36 at 35.5.

I rate Siddle, but look at the stats in context.

Posted by   on (July 8, 2013, 20:29 GMT)

Well, I am not satisfied with this. Excellent consistent bowling figures.

Posted by Sunshine_Pom on (July 8, 2013, 19:57 GMT)

Mitty2 - "The day that Anderson has an average of below 30 maybe then I'll consider him, but it is difficult to be 'so far' better than siddle when you're inferior to him in every single statistic."

Erm, not every statistic. Anderson happens to be leading in the most important stat of the lot - wickets taken. Peter Siddle has taken 150 in 41 Tests; Anderson has taken 307 in don't need to be a genius to do the maths.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (July 8, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

Mitty2 - you have mentioned that you don't rate Starc about 4000 times on these pages. Please please please change the record.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (July 8, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

The problem with playing Siddle is twofold: 1) He is out of form, as shown in the warm up matches and other recent matches, and 2) Harris is the same kind of bowler, only better. If Harris is ruled out due to injury, then Siddle should play. Otherwise, it is risky.

The key to a good attack is to have variety but if Siddle and Harris both play then you have two bowlers that are very similar. Pattinson is different, Starc is different, Bird is different and Faulkner is obviously different. But Harris is the same. And I think even the most ardent Siddle supporter can't argue that Siddle is better than Harris.

Posted by Mitty2 on (July 8, 2013, 18:46 GMT)

@jono makim, so that's siddle's 9-342 compared to dale steyn's 5-248 in the two tests they played together... Just imagine what it would be for steyn and Anderson in last years test series! (anderson: 9/366; steyn: 15/438) but oh no anderson's better than steyn and siddle because he can swing the bowl more!

Posted by Mitty2 on (July 8, 2013, 18:34 GMT)

The day that Anderson has an average of below 30 maybe then I'll consider him, but it is difficult to be 'so far' better than siddle when you're inferior to him in every single statistic. 'Oh no but it is the manner in which he takes his wickets!'; 'But he had his action changed when he was younger!!' Pfft.

@landl47, considering that bird is the best bowler in the country with the obvious potential to be our best bowler for the next how ever long, the suggestions for his inclusion are more than justified. But, the only reason they come at siddle's expense is because starc (ew) and patto are definitely going to play in the first test. We need siddle for his experience, but if we're having the erratic starc, we need a bowler to compliment him and dry up the runs - just look what bird did with MJ at the MCG test. Ideally, the attack would be siddle, patto, bird and Lyon, but considering our recent success with left arm quicks, starc simply HAS to be in ;)

Posted by Ibrarhunzai on (July 8, 2013, 18:28 GMT)

Siddle is a good bowler but still Australia has a very rare chances of winning this Ashes.

Posted by Micky.Panda on (July 8, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

Surely no one could claim Siddle is as good as Anderson. Siddle has never been Australia's best bowler. He has merely been the least injured and definitely improved since Craig McDermott became the coach. The ICC Rankings have always been off the pace as they require 3 years of extreme consistency where many bowlers have only been able to play in patches of full fitness. Clearly Pattinson, Hilfenhaus, Harris, and Bird have all performed better than Siddle when they have been at their peak fitness. I don't see that Starc has a good enough performance track record to be selected. I think Pattinson selection is obvious. Bird is a McGrath like bowler and should be used for his annoying consistency which causes batsmen to get themselves out. Great bowlers put it on the spot. Bird has done nothing to warrant non-selection. Excellent consistent bowling figures. I think the 3rd bowler would be a choice between Harris and Siddle, based on who is in the best current form.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (July 8, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

Peter Siddle started off as this menacing bowler who could just tear in and smash the opposition apart - the kind of role more associated with Mitchell Johnson today - the wrecking ball, as it were. Then he was transformed from the shock bowler into the bowler that just kept going and going. Initially he was terrible but then he managed to get a wicket from nowhere. And now he is known as the bowler that can extract something from a flat track, and the bowler who can look horrible all day but then take 3 or 4 wickets from nowhere. The guy that never gives up. It is good to have such a bowler. But Ryan Harris is a similar kind of bowler only better, and I don't see the need to have both. If Harris is injured, Siddle should play, but if not then Harris should play.

Posted by Benkl on (July 8, 2013, 15:32 GMT)

Its a swinging pitch .. but yes Sids deserves a change but on the other hand Rhino was our best bowler before injury , and was great in the Australia A match and ok in the county match .

My 11 1)Shane Watson 2)Chris Rogers 3)Cowan 4)Michael Clarke 5) Hughes 6)Steven Smith 7)Brad Haddin 8)Peter Siddle 9)James Pattinson 10)Mitchell Starc 11)Harris

Posted by king78787 on (July 8, 2013, 15:31 GMT)

Austrailia need a strong batting tail and Siddle should make the team for his batting but not his bowling. His bowling will give 20+ economical overs for very few wickets. His batting can help Starc, Pattinson, Lyon (Starc is a bowling all rounder, Pattinsona and lyon can bat a bit)turn 100-6 into 250 on a GOOD day. But unless the aussies top order gets at least a big fifty/ hundred per match England will always be into the tail.

Posted by landl47 on (July 8, 2013, 15:13 GMT)

I've been amazed at how many Australian fans have said they would rather see Bird than Siddle in the side. Siddle's a proven bowler with years of experience; Bird has never been tested against a top-class batting line-up (Sri Lanka in Australia with Sanga injured are far from top class). Siddle will be the man in the first test.

You don't drop a guy with his record because he hasn't been on top form in a couple of warm-up matches.

Posted by asraruwant on (July 8, 2013, 14:06 GMT)

My Aussie team for the first Ashes Test is 1) Watto 2)Rogers 3)Cowan 4)Clarke 5)Khawaja 6)Haddin 7) Faulkner 8) Siddle 9) Starc 10) Pattinson 11) Lyon. Faulkner,Siddle& Starc will Score 50 runs between them on an average in each innings. And if the top 6 can atleast score 300 runs among them Australia will be in tremendous position to win that test because they will have 5 specialist bowlers and one partnership breaker/golden arm bowler i.e watson hence giving clarke 6 world class bowling options. By having these many options he can use pattinson and starc in short and sharp bursts making them even more effective. The only way they can win Ashes is by causing batting collapses of English batting. Dont Aim high just score 350 when you bat and try to bowl them under 250 when they bat. That will give you a 100 run lead and from there onwards the Test match is yours to loose.

Posted by KeithMillersHair on (July 8, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

I have to admit I have been wavering a bit on Siddle given our strong bowling stock - Patinson has to play, Bird has huge potential in this series, Starc is tempting for variation and explosiveness, Harris when fit has usually been our best, and Faulkner is a genuinely good left hander too. BUT by comparing Siddle to Anderson this article has done a great job of reminding me why he absolutely must play the first test. He is our most experienced bowler by a wide margin, and our best performed over a long and consistent period. When you throw in his great attitude, leadership and almost all-rounder level batting he should be first picked. It is a good selection problem to have, but I think the bowlers for the first test have actually been picked for a while now. I'm sure the selectors will go with Siddle, Patinson, Starc and Lyon. Combined with a few overs from Watson or Smith this is a pretty well rounded line-up I reckon. Although Bird should be the next in line IMO.

Posted by VVSR92 on (July 8, 2013, 13:53 GMT)

siddle is the guy australia can expect to fire & give his hear out to perform his best & create problems for england ,as he is just picked for tests he would also be more fresh & injury free & most importantly fit , if australia are to win ashes you would have to have siddle taking 20-25 wickets for sure

Posted by venkatesh018 on (July 8, 2013, 13:45 GMT)

There is absolutely no scope for "looseners" as far as Siddle goes in this series. If he isn't up for it at Nottingham, Australia have worthy replacements in Bird and Harris.

Posted by Dangertroy on (July 8, 2013, 13:45 GMT)

Siddle should play in the first test. He will complement Pattinson and Starc well. Plus he has a hat-trick against England.

Posted by   on (July 8, 2013, 13:44 GMT)

The man has to play and I don't doubt for one second that he can lift himself... he didn't have great stats going into the series against South Africa but he bowled his heart out against them and came oh so close to giving us a series lead at Adelaide.. His 2 match return of 9-342 may not look overly impressive but Dale Steyn was only able to gather 5-258 in the same two matches on what were incredibly flat wickets. This guy can and will hold his own and better.

Posted by Sjhan on (July 8, 2013, 13:30 GMT)

My playing XI for first Test:1)Shane Watson 2)Chris Rogers 3)Usman Khawaja 4)Michael Clarke 5)David Warner 6)Steven Smith 7)Brad Haddin W/K 8)Peter Siddle 9)James Pattinson 10)Mitchell Starc 11)Nathan Lyon.HOPE Boof sees my playing XI

Posted by   on (July 8, 2013, 13:25 GMT)

Imagine having an all rounder who got a 5 wicket haul in their second last test, who got back to back 50's in their last test and who got an unbeaten 100 in their 2nd last FC innings. Would have to be an automatic selection you would think. Oh wait, that's Peter Siddle.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (July 8, 2013, 12:53 GMT)

Anderson v. Siddle the stats tell a very similar story - so here is my take on it. Peter Siddle is slightly under-rated because he is part of a team transitioning from greatness to averageness and he is measured against the memories of guys like Glenn McGrath. Jimmy Anderson is slightly over-rated because he is part of a team moving from mediocrity to slightly above average and he is measured against guys like Andy Caddick. It is as I would argue "a perception problem".

Posted by fatier on (July 8, 2013, 12:21 GMT)

From June 2009 Onwards Siddle's average has been 29.12 with his best performances being against India at 22.8 and worst Sounth Africa with more than 42

Now for Anderson,its been 27.4 in the same period with his best performances coming of against Pakistan at 17.4 playing 7 matches(the second highest he has played against any nation in that specific period of time) and worst,again,South Africa at 36...

So I believe both are pretty good,but Anderson an inch better

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 8, 2013, 12:06 GMT)

As I pointed out on another thread, Anderson has played double the amount of tests than Siddle, and more than the combined sum for the other Aus. bowlers in contention. Enough with the comparisons already! Let's see what stats this infamous Aus. pace-battery has after over 80 tests, having played in a wide range of conditions and against varying opponents.

That said, I've always maintained that a workhorse like Siddle should be one of the first bowlers picked every game. I'll be very surprised if he doesn't play in the first game. No doubt Bird and Starc have been promising, but I still feel it's a risk to pick either ahead of Siddle at this stage.

Posted by Bockee on (July 8, 2013, 11:58 GMT)

In the last two years, Both against similar opponents. :

Siddle P19, 76 Wkts @25.65, Econ 2.92, SR 52.7 Anderson P23, 88 Wkts @27.93, Econ 2.71, SR 61.7

Perhaps the difference is that Siddle is the gutsy run in till you drop type bowler while Anderson is less enduring but in some spells more destructive, a role that Patto and Starc have in the Aussie side.

Siddle has to play!

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 8, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

Siddle is a good stock bowler, and often underrated by opponents, even in 2010/11 he was the bowler who looked most likely to take wickets.

Posted by Narkovian on (July 8, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

Well , Mr Bradley Parker. We'll see in 7 weeks time about Anderson v. Siddle. I am actually quite a fan of Siddle, but I think he may be past his sell-by date. Anderson's average is a little high, but if you take his figures over the last few years, I think they may well be a different story. He just gets better and better. His early career was not brilliant. But now ?.. I reckon he will knock over second rate AUS batsmen for breakfast., and a few of the better ones too ( well there is only one of those ! ).

Posted by PFEL on (July 8, 2013, 11:52 GMT)

Add in the fact that Siddle generally bowls on much flatter tracks compared to Anderson in English conditions and it's laughable to think anyone would consider Anderson as being Siddle's equal, let alone superior

Posted by PFEL on (July 8, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

I am thoroughly confused as to why some people are saying they'd pick Anderson and Swann over Siddle . . . just check the stats, Siddle is comfortably the best of the 3, with the best average (28) compared to both Anderson and Swann averaging over 30. Take into account Siddle's work ethic and it's even more obvious that he's by far the best.

Posted by dunger.bob on (July 8, 2013, 11:41 GMT)

I put Bird into my side in an earlier post. I completely forgot about Sids ! . How soon we forget. Less than a year ago he bowled himself into a coma when some other bowler went down for the count early in a Test against SA. .. I really hope Pete bowls well this time around. England has most definitely not seen the best of Peter Siddle. .. If he flops then I suppose we can say he isn't a bowler for English conditions and that would be a shame. .. Sids no longer bowls short as a matter of course. He pitches it up and gets it to swing a bit these days. .. That simple thing has made him a much better bowler.

Posted by Big_Maxy_Walker on (July 8, 2013, 11:40 GMT)

Unfortunately it looks like the selectors think Starc is the only one who can get Cook out early. So with Pattinson being a shoe in, Starc as the 2nd pace man, its between Siddle, Harris and Bird for the third spot. If it was me it would be Bird. Accurate, the Poms haven't sorted him out yet, and an ability to keep the runs down and the pressure on. Which cant be said for any other Aussie bowler. Siddle is too inconsistent. A match or two without success than a few wickets of the tail when it doesn't really matter. He also bowls too many boundary balls and cannot keep it pitched up consistently. WIth Pattinson being picked, Harris will be overlooked. Cant have two injury prone bowlers in the same lineup. Too much of a risk. Starc has looked dangerous at times, but like Mitchell Johnson that is few and far between. The Poms would love to face him Bird is the logical choice.

Posted by Batmanian on (July 8, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

So the team looks like 1.Watson 2.Rogers 3.X 4.X 5.X 6.X 7.Haddin 8. Starc 9.Siddle 10. Pattinson 11.Lyon.

Clarke is one of the Xs at 4 or 5. Hughes almost certainly at 3 or 4; Smith likely at 6. Then it gets tricky for the last spot: Warner may be 3, 4, 5 or 6 while Khawaja is a possibility for 5 or 6 and Cowan a chance for 3. For the first time, I'm sensing the selectors will go against Cowan. Khawaja might just scrape in on the basis that Warner can replace any egregious or injured performer among the top six, and may not quite have done his time, regardless of the camp's language.

Posted by Amith_S on (July 8, 2013, 11:34 GMT)

The more i think about it the more i think he should be in the lineup, too much experience to pass up

Posted by   on (July 8, 2013, 11:30 GMT)

Siddle averages 28, Anderson averages 30 with the ball, Anderson is the most overrated bowler in world cricket!

Posted by Potatis on (July 8, 2013, 11:02 GMT)

I'd like to see Pattinson and Bird selected for every game, they are the main wicket takers and are accurate. I don't care who is the 3rd quick out of Siddle, Starc or Harris, they are pretty much the same ability to me, though Starc does offer some left arm variety and can be a genuine wicket taker when everything clicks.

Posted by goldeneraaus on (July 8, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

Let me jump the gun to all those about to shout down the ICC rankings- yes Siddle would be second choice to Anderson but what the rankings show is how far siddle has come from the one dimensional bowler England pummelled in Australia in 2011, rather than any definitive measure of his class as a bowler. His fitness and previous form mean that he is first picked in this Australian side, particularly on surfaces with a bit of juice in them.

Posted by   on (July 8, 2013, 10:37 GMT)

Australian -siddle over Anderson you gotta be kidding ?

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (July 8, 2013, 10:36 GMT)

I am on the fence about Siddle. I guess they should go with him for the first test and if he goes the way of Gillespie and Kaspa in 2005 = too short and little movement cannon fodder bowling, then out he goes and in comes Bird.

Posted by disco_bob on (July 8, 2013, 10:36 GMT)

It has been to Siddle's benefit to slip into this series with the focus on the other quicks and our batters. He is the perfect foil for Starc. We will have a better balanced attack with Siddle in.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (July 8, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

Siddle isn't in my line up. If he is selected, it is on reputation, not form or skill.

Posted by _Australian_ on (July 8, 2013, 10:23 GMT)

Haddin is correct that you should not read too much into the stats of the tour games. Siddle should play. As for the ICC rankings I pretty much ignore them and always have. Let's face it, over the three bowlers Siddle, Anderson and Swann, Siddle would be the last chosen of those 3 to play for you.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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