Siddle confident of securing spot in Aussie Test squad

Sydney, Oct 18 (IANS) Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle believes he will have enough opportunity to press his claim for the Test spot during the series against New Zealand though he has not featured in the ongoing Matador One-Day Cup.

Siddle was kept on the sidelines during Victoria’s opening five matches of the Sydney-based tournament with the Bushrangers favouring a pace attack of James Pattinson, John Hastings and Scott Boland.

The Test quick was on Friday named in the Prime Minister’s XI and Cricket Australia XI to take on the Black Caps in a day-night match with the pink ball at the Manuka Oval this Friday, followed by a two-day match at the same venue in Canberra starting Saturday.

The 30-year-old faces a battle to retain his place in the Test XI with Josh Hazlewood pushing for a return to the side after his omission with a minor injury ‘niggle’ for the fifth Ashes Test on the failed tour of the British Isles.

“It’s a good opportunity for me to play some cricket,” Siddle was quoted as saying by

“The past six months it’s been a bit tough carrying a lot of drinks and not playing much. The PM’s XI has always been a big part of the Australian summer, so I’m looking forward to being a part of it for the first time and hopefully have a first little crack at the New Zealanders.”

While most of the hopefuls pushing their case for a Test spot are banking on big hundreds or bags of wickets, Siddle doesn’t believe the scorecard will necessarily decide his fate when the national selection panel name a final XI on the morning of November 5.

“The England tour is probably a good example of that,” Siddle said.

“I felt I was bowling well with good rhythm and felt strong at the crease, I just couldn’t get those wickets. I think it showed once I got my chance that I could produce on the day.”

The Prime Minister’s XI clash will be Siddle’s first experience with the much talked about pink Kookaburra ball ahead of the historic day-night Test match at the Adelaide Oval later next month.

It will be somewhat of a trial run for Siddle before getting another opportunity in the opening round of the Sheffield Shield season to be played under lights from October 28-31. “It’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out,” Siddle said.

“I can’t talk too much about it yet without having a crack at it. I think after this game I’ll get a feel for it and see how it holds up and goes throughout the innings. Teams have spoken differently about the ball and how it’s held up and how it’s played.”

“It’s just a matter of witnessing it for yourself firsthand and seeing how it goes. The changeover in light is going to be the big part in the game where you’re going to need to get used to it. So until I experience that, I’ll just have to wait and see,” he added.

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