Science has officially been proven wrong. Those boffins in white coats are always telling us you can’t give 110 per cent, because 100 per cent is by definition the most there is to give.

Just cos his name rhymes with Fiddle doesn't he mean he did (with a ball). Pic: AFP

Yeah, well maybe those scientists should spend a few hours watching Peter Siddle bowl in Test cricket.

This summer, Peter Siddle has risen from fringe Test player to the kind of player Australians cherish above all others. He is the toiler. The workhorse. The man with a heart so big it may one day be displayed in a glass cabinet in a museum somewhere like Phar Lap’s.

It’s a restless time in the Australian Test cricket team what with all these injuries and the fact it’s becoming harder to find batsmen and bowlers suited to the rigours of the five day game.

Siddle is a man for troubled times. He has made himself the leader of the attack through consistently fast, aggressive bowling, but above all for his durability. The guy is made of steel. And really, it’s an absolute bloody travesty selectors dropped him or “rested” him or whatever after Adelaide for the Perth Test against South Africa.

In many ways, Siddle reminds you of Merv Hughes. He doesn’t have that clown persona, but he bowls with similar pace and aggression. Like Merv, Siddle doesn’t swing or seam it extravagantly, but he’s always fast and always in the batsman’s face and he just never goes away.

There’s another interesting comparison between Hughes and Siddle.

Siddle didn’t particularly threaten the Poms the last time they met, and neither did Merv early in his career. But Merv came good. In the 1993 series, he took 31 wickets, which was just three less than Warney’s total wicket haul, and Merv did it in 140 fewer overs.

As we head to the 2013 Ashes, you can just feel this guy coming good. Not saying we’re going to win the series or anything like that, but like I say, Siddle just feels like the kind of guy to grind down the English batsmen the way he ground down Sri Lanka’s top order this week in Hobart.

The bloke is now the heart and soul of the Australian attack, and long may he keep his spot. He could lose the soul patch, though. We know you’ve got soul, Sids.

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    • Sox says:

      11:04am | 19/12/12

      Yes we beat Sri Lanka, I presume Canada were unavailable?

    • AFR says:

      11:20am | 19/12/12

      Why not, I’ll feed the troll….

      SL are currently ranked 6th, 5th and first in tests, ODIs and 20/20 respectively. Sure they’re not South Africa, but it’s still a good win.

      Siddle really is becoming the backbone of our bowling attack.

    • Ziggy says:

      11:21am | 19/12/12

      Now, now a little grace please! He did bowl pretty well but I suspect that had he actually been unfortunate to have bowled in Perth a lot of his half volleys would have helped Amla no end.He will continue to improve. Already his snarl is on par with the best. Cannot comment on his fingernails as I did not see any tape that convinced me he had enough nail length to actually tamper with the ball.I take his word for that.

    • Dan says:

      11:24am | 19/12/12

      A bit ahead of Canada Sox. Sri Lanka is ranked above the West Indies, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in the international test rankings,  number five just behind Australia in the ODIs and first in 20/20. Not too shabby.

    • marley says:

      11:53am | 19/12/12

      Very hard to play cricket on ice skates.  And very hard to keep Australian cricket pitches frozen. Otherwise, I’m sure Canada would be up for it.

    • Blazers says:

      12:45pm | 19/12/12

      Is there something marley doesn’t know?

    • marley says:

      01:32pm | 19/12/12

      @White Sox - actually, I did know that. I’m from one of the few places in Canada that actually has a cricket oval.

      @Blazers - sorry about that, but I’m sure you’ll get me next time!  Anyway, there’s lots of stuff I don’t know.  I just don’t comment on them.

    • Tubesteak says:

      11:13am | 19/12/12

      I was disappointed Siddle didn’t play in Perth. They said during Hobart that it was due to some injury concerns and whether he had the stamina after Adelaide. he didn’t want to break down and leave it on the other bowlers. Siddle is a test specialist and only plays tests. He should have played as it was a game we needed to win.

      I also think Mitchell Johnson should be back in the side. He’s handy with the bat and this would be good to stand him next to Watson. I noticed Watson only managing medium pace yesterday. Johnson can hold his end if a decent batsman is at the other end and he can more than manage with the ball. This is why he is a better pick than Starc or maybe even Hilfenhaus who seems to be injured right now.

    • SZF says:

      01:08pm | 19/12/12

      Nothing against Mitchell Johnson personally, I’ve always agreed with the thinking that you NEVER pick a specialist bowler based on how he bats. It’s a strategy designed to avoid defeat, not chase victory. England made that mistake for years while they were getting belted in the wilderness.

      Johnson’s not (quite) a bowling all-rounder, and while he performed well in Perth - his favourite ground by a mile - it’s one decent match after a bunch of dismal ones.

      Having said all that, he’s right in the mix of pace bowlers either in or on the fringe of the Test squad (which says more about our bowling stocks than Johnson’s form…). Given that, I’d go with one of the younger guys and hopefully they develop - like Siddle has.

      [He says boldly, pretending he wears a selector’s hat!]

    • Tubesteak says:

      01:34pm | 19/12/12

      Johnson has always been the type to go wicketless for a while before getting the crucial breakthrough. He did it in Perth. I think he deserves a spot in the Aussie side

    • andrew says:

      01:39pm | 19/12/12

      Johnson needs to be a good batsman, to chase down all the runs he gives away when he has the ball in hand. We need another Glenn Mcgrath or Stuart Clarke - someone that knows how to bowl line and length.

    • Jimmy the Mick says:

      11:13am | 19/12/12

      Siddle has been the toiler, long before this summer.  He’s always been that way.

    • MK says:

      11:45am | 19/12/12

      Sharwood is only three or four years behind Haydos,

      When Hayden was sitll opening for Australia

    • RobJ says:

      11:17am | 19/12/12

      “Yeah, well maybe those scientists should spend a few hours watching Peter Siddle bowl in Test cricket.”

      They’d still be correct! ;o)

      But yeah, Siddle is a favourite of mine.

    • Bill says:

      11:18am | 19/12/12

      The boy from Traralgon has been the heart and soul of our pace attack for a number of years and the clear, natural leader of our bowling team. Can’t wait for the next Ashes. Pete’s gonna rip through the poms and give their batsmen nightmares.

      Fairly handy with the bat too.

    • TChong says:

      11:38am | 19/12/12

      Agree Bill
      Wouldnt be at all surprised if young Pete moves from the boon docks , and heads to NewSouth, afterall , the lad is good enough to be a Blue.
      He’d probaly find Rugby League a heaps better code to follow during the off season, too.
      What dya reckon ?  wink

    • Gregg says:

      01:03pm | 19/12/12

      I think you might find he was the boy from Morwell Bill, that being the place nearly slipping into a big hole in the ground a bit closer to Melbourne than Traralgon.

      No chance on him moving to NSW Chongy when he is an avid AFL Kangaroo supporter.

    • Andrew says:

      11:22am | 19/12/12

      I am wondering how long until the ACB tell all the fast bowlers to become vegetarian after the effort Siddle has been puttin gin this year without sustaining a major injury.

      Siddle has been great, as has been Clarke, Hussey and Wade. Warner seems to be coming good, hopefully it continues. Hughes started well and has the previous 100’s to show. Cowan still a question mark.

      If only we could get 2 more fast bowlers that can survive long enough to be some sort of help to Siddle. The poor guy will have earned his rest. If we have two more paceman that can hang around then we will have a good pack that will be able to perform their various roles along with Lyon who i think will become a good spinner and just needs to be persisted with.

      Someone get Pattinsons body fixed as he has talent and Starc has shown promise (although definitley a great white ball bowler he still has some things to prove before we can accept him as the next red ball bowler, he seems to be a handy prospect for cleaning up the tail which is where we seem to struggle).

    • sunny says:

      12:07pm | 19/12/12

      Yeah Pattinson will probably be our secret weapon against England. Johnson had a few dangerous / unplayable spells in Perth but was probably bowled too much or in spells that were too long (3 over spells max for him IMO). With Pattinson coming back from injury (assuming he does) he will have to be bowled sparingly too, that leaves the bulk of the pace work to Siddle and Starc so it’s a good thing they’re the toilers that they are ..who can both bag a bag full of wickets on their day, like yesterday.

    • Arnold Layne says:

      01:53pm | 19/12/12

      Starc swings the ball more than any of the others.  Where are we playing the next Ashes series?  England, where the ball swings more than just about anywhere else.  I’d say the selectors have probably been thinking about that.  He’s the future, Johnson is the past.

    • Knemon says:

      01:59pm | 19/12/12

      With all the support staff that test players have available today (compared to years gone by) why are so many of our players breaking down? We seem to have far more injuries today than ever before, it doesn’t make sense.

      As for ‘Gary’ Lyon, he always seems to be in a rush…slow down man, relax.

      Well said Ant in relation to Peter Siddle, the guy’s a champion.

    • Philosopher says:

      02:54pm | 19/12/12

      sunny - I didn’t understand a single damn word you wrote. Something about the characters in Twilight?

    • sunny says:

      03:33pm | 19/12/12

      Twilight has characters now?

    • Jebus says:

      11:49am | 19/12/12

      Its time cricket dragged itself into the 21st century and allowed the 12th man to be more than a fielder and drinks carrier. Every other sport has reserves available to cover for injured players. Cricket does not. Each team should be allowed to nominate 1 reserve player (naturally that person would be a bowler). If a bowler is deemed injured by the match medico, he can be replaced by the reserve player. The debacle we have witnessed in 2 tests already this summer is a blight on the game. It robbed us of a contest in adelaide when patto went down, and robbed the perth test as well because sids and hilf were both buggered after adelaide.
      Ill await the replys of “but thats why they call it test cricket’. Yeah, i pay big money to watch a day of test cricket, i want the best players available, and an even contest.

    • Gregg says:

      01:06pm | 19/12/12

      The twelth man Jordon Silk was as smooth as in the field was he not and he even deserves to have an official baggy green issued, the ammount of time he was out there.
      And then we had a thirteenth out there for a bit too.

    • Tator says:

      01:45pm | 19/12/12

      Jordan Silk was a running theme for the ABC commentary team and there cheer he got for his catch was louder than any other dismissal

    • Gregg says:

      01:55pm | 19/12/12

      Thanks for that Tator as I wasn’t listening to the ABC other than when in the car occasionally.
      He certainly covered some ground and has a good arm too.

    • TheBigMick says:

      12:46pm | 19/12/12

      The fact that Siddle has doubters is proof that the world is full of idiots.

    • Gregg says:

      12:58pm | 19/12/12

      Siddle is one of those bowlers that has always bowled with some consistency and just does not seem to get the wickets he deserves but that could come if he can a bit of the swing and deviation into his bowling and comments are that he is heading that way with fuller length balls rather than the keep banging them in.
      But for grit and determination you cannot fault him and that has been so for a few seasons, his run in and delivery balance being by far as perfect as you could ask for and Starc is not so bad in that respect either and both handy enough with the bat.
      And then hey!, we have the new boy on the block in Wadey, not a bad ball he can put down at all!

    • Tator says:

      12:58pm | 19/12/12

      It is not just Siddle’s workhorse nature that is comparable to Merv.  Watch him when he isn’t bowling and his constant talk in the field,  which is a Merv trait as well ss both sre constantly geeing the team up with encouragement plus both are lower order bats who can make valuable runs on their day.

    • I hate pies says:

      01:11pm | 19/12/12

      ...and he’s a Victorian!!

    • sunny says:

      01:28pm | 19/12/12

      Is that you Mr Lawry? How are the pigeons?

    • Anthony says:

      01:30pm | 19/12/12

      No he’s not he’s from Morwell, the poor cousin of Moe, where I’m from. Victoria forgot about us a longtime ago.

    • Gregg says:

      02:02pm | 19/12/12

      Morwell is in Victoria last time I drove through though it has been getting closer to slipping into the Open Cut.
      You might have meant to reply to Bill who had him down for Traralgon!
      What’s the latest on the subsidence along by the freeway just in case I need to head down that way again before too long.
      And what has happened with the Latrobe River break out/
      Did they get that fixed or just allow a bit of a lake to form?

    • I hate pies says:

      03:09pm | 19/12/12

      Don’t worry Anthony, I know what you’re talking about…I too am from country Victoria. The saying in my town has always been that Victoria ends at Broadmeadows.

    • Rickster says:

      01:53pm | 19/12/12

      So Sid’s is a vego no wonder he ran out of puff in Adelaide….need’s more iron ...250 gramms of T-bone STAT!

    • sunny says:

      02:28pm | 19/12/12

      Have Swisse got a meat pill?


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