Peter Siddle celebrates after taking the wicket of Steve Smith in the All-Australian tour match,
Peter Siddle celebrates after taking the wicket of Steve Smith in the All-Australian tour match,

Speed dial: Phone call that revived Siddle’s career

Veteran seamer Peter Siddle has revealed he thought his international career was over in 2015 when he wasn't picked for the fourth Ashes Test on a Trent Bridge wicket tailor-made for him.

But his love of the game kept him playing and his form in English county cricket last year earned a phone call from Australian coach Justin Langer that reignited his Test hopes.

Now the 34-year-old is in the squad to play in his sixth Ashes, his fourth in England, and believes selectors finally understand English requirements and have picked the best attack in any series he has played in.

"I reckon it's something we've developed and we're a lot better prepared for coming into this series," Siddle said after his inclusion in the 17-man squad.

"The chats I've had with different coaches - Troy Cooley and JL (Langer) and all the coaches around the squad - we're a lot more aware of the set-up and the team dynamics to win a series in England.

 

Peter Siddle with a replica Ashes urn after the Australia Ashes squad announcement.
Peter Siddle with a replica Ashes urn after the Australia Ashes squad announcement.

 

"A couple of other series I've played in, we haven't been quite suited to the conditions and we've gone about it the wrong way.

"But with the squad that's been picked, and the players that are in and around the group, I think we've got a good skill set and whatever is dished up to us wicket-wise, we'll be able to handle whatever they throw at us.

"Definitely in an Ashes ­series, I believe it is the strongest line-up in the time that I've played that we're going to put out there on the park."

An injury to Josh Hazlewood in that forgettable game at Trent Bridge in 2015, when Australia was bowled out for 60 in the first innings, earned Siddle a call-up for the final match of the series at The Oval.

The Victorian took six wickets in an Australian win, confirming in his mind he should have played the previous match.

"I remember at Trent Bridge, just after being told I wasn't part of that Test match, the boys were warming up and I went and had a conversation with Punter (Ricky Ponting) out in the middle,'' Siddle said.

"We were looking at the wicket and he couldn't believe that I wasn't playing, and that's when I said to him, 'If I'm not getting picked here, I don't think I'll ever get picked again'. And that was the honest truth.

 

Peter Siddle is in the squad to play in his sixth Ashes, his fourth in England.
Peter Siddle is in the squad to play in his sixth Ashes, his fourth in England.

 

"Obviously Joshy (Hazlewood) got a bit injured and I got an opportunity to play the last Test and performed well there, and that gave me ­another crack at representing.

"But I thought at that stage I mightn't get the opportunity again, so ever since then I have definitely tried making the most of every opportunity."

That was the message from Langer last year, too, before Siddle was recalled when the coach took his first Test squad to the United Arab Emirates to take on Pakistan.

"Last year I was going well playing for Essex and I had a couple of messages and phone calls (with Langer)," Siddle said. "It was one message after we chatted one time, he said, 'Just remember that every game counts'."

Siddle played both UAE games, and while he hasn't added to his 64 Tests since, he has been a permanent part of the squad and is ready to take his Ashes opportunity.

"I knew I'd given myself every chance to be on another Ashes series and hopefully play for Australia again," he said.

russell.gould@news.com.au

 

 

Stream over 50 sports live & anytime on your TV or favourite device with KAYO SPORTS. The biggest Aussie sports and the best from overseas. Just $25/month. No lock-in contract. Get your 14 day free trial

 

 

 

Stream over 50 sports live & anytime on your TV or favourite device with KAYO SPORTS. The biggest Aussie sports and the best from overseas. Just $25/month. No lock-in contract. Get your 14 day free trial