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Siddle shock option as Hazlewood cover for Boxing Day Test

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15th December, 2019
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Peter Siddle could bolt into Australia’s squad for the Boxing Day Test as Justin Langer searches for replacements for injured bowler Josh Hazlewood.

The Aussies want at least one extra quick in Melbourne, with Hazlewood battling to be fit for the Sydney Test next month.

Australia already have James Pattinson and Michael Neser in their 13-man squad, with the former the favourite to replace Hazlewood.

But Australia may still want extra cover in their squad for their quicks in Melbourne.

And if that is the case, Siddle appears in the box seat to be brought into the squad after his Test career looked likely to be over following the Ashes.

“We’ve started to think about (a squad replacement), the obvious one would be Peter Siddle actually,” Langer said.

“He did a really good job in the Ashes, he’s bowling very well for Victoria and it’s at the MCG where he’s played a lot of cricket.

“We’ll see what happens the rest of this game and then make a decision.”

Siddle has taken 12 wickets at 15.16 in three Shield matches at the MCG this summer.

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He said last month he was refusing to give up hope on adding to his 67 Tests.

Selectors face an interesting month ahead in terms of their bowlers’ workloads.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins have been forced to shoulder the brunt of the work in extreme temperatures in Perth.

There is just a four-day turnaround between Melbourne and Sydney, which are both expected to be batting wickets meaning cover could be needed.

Adding to the problem is Australia’s lack of an allrounder.

Mitch Marsh will return to the Big Bash this week but is still up to a fortnight from bowling after he broke his hand punching a wall, while Cameron Green is also not yet bowling.

“We’ll have a look at the end of this Test how many overs the boys bowled, how long we were in there for the second innings,” Langer said.

“Without doubt, Patto and Michael Neser, they’ll be in the squad 100 per cent and we’ll look whether we replace Josh with another fast bowler.

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“There are a few injuries and there’s a great opportunity in Australian cricket for someone to put their hand up and knock really hard on the door to fill that (allrounder) gap.

“There’s a lot of talk about allrounders but the truth is, whether it’s a club side, T20 side, Shield side, they all want an allrounder but there aren’t many of them around.”

© AAP