Peter Siddle is the heart of soul of Australian cricket
A shocking and humiliating 3-1 Ashes loss put the careers of many Australian players on the crossroads, including Peter Siddle. His career then took another hit when he was not selected in the World Cup squad and was also not included in the first two Tests during the series in Sri Lanka.
Although he took 4/91 in the first innings of the third Test, on a the flattest and driest of tracks, Siddle had an average series in South Africa. He took only four wickets at an appalling average of 51.
However, with injuries to Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and with Ben Hilfenhaus not in the team at that stage, he found himself to be the leader of one of the most inexperienced Australian bowling attacks to have played in a test.
His stats may have been overshadowed by an incredible debut series by James Pattinson, but without Siddle, Pattinson may not of had the brilliant start he had. Siddle took nine wickets in the drawn series against New Zealand at 23 and then went on to take 23 wickets at 18 against the Indians including 5/49 in Adelaide.
A back injury in the first test against the West Indies wasn’t going to stop him as he spent most of the off-season training. He spent time with the Carlton Football club and also thanks to his girlfriend, became a vegan.
Siddle is now the fittest he has been and is probably the fittest out all the Australian fast bowlers. He has also requested Cricket Australia to not pick him for the shorter formats to enable him to stay fit for Test matches.
Throughout Siddle’s career, whenever Ricky Ponting or Michael Clarke has called on him to bowl, he has always bowled his heart out and always gives it his best.
He is known best for being able to pitch the ball up on a goodish-full length and just move the ball in and away from the batsman which regularly gets him a wicket. He is always trying ways to get a batsman out, whether it is bowling a slower ball, yorker or giving the batsman a hard time with bouncers.
Siddle has never really been renowned for taking big hauls and this is shown by the fact he is yet to take a 10fer. However, he has always been able to grab the breakthrough wicket including Sachin Tendulkar four times in 10 innings.
Another example that emphasises his lion-hearted attitude and temperament was in the second innings in Adelaide against South Africa late last year.
With the South Africans being able to crawl their way late into day five closing in a draw, Siddle was called onto bowl by Clarke. With 20 minutes to go on a hot and humid Adelaide afternoon, Siddle started to feel fatigued and at times looked like he was going to spew on the pitch.
But he was still trying to get the remaining wickets and was somehow able to conjure up 140km plus deliveries that got rid of Dale Steyn and Rory Kleinveldt and had Australia in sight of victory.
Despite his efforts, Australia couldn’t win the match. Siddle appeared to be exhausted, absolutely fatigued and out of air but who could blame him? He knew that at any stage he could collapse yet because of the passion and belief he had within himself, he still continued on.
At 28, Siddle has already taken 141 Test wickets at an average of just over 28. He is now one of the more experienced players in the Australian team and one of the most popular cricketers in the country at the moment.
Whether it’s the ability to get the crowd going and behind him, to produce a magical fiery spell or the fist pump and vicious face that appears when he grabs a wicket, Peter Siddle is the heart and soul of Australian Cricket
The Ashes journey begins
The Australian cricket team have left Australia to begin their tour of England, with a mission to reclaim the Ashes.
Australian captain Michael Clarke and his teammates were optimistic about their chances before jetting off.
Click here to hear the thoughts of our Australian cricket team as they left for England.
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