Australia’s squad for the summer’s Ashes series may not look the most intimidating to English eyes, but the threat of fast bowler Peter Siddle cannot be underestimated.
The 28-year-old has taken 150 Test wickets in his 41 appearances in the baggy green, and as the 3/1 joint-favourite to be Australia’s top Ashes wicket taker in the summer he’ll be ready to provide the likes of Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen with more than a few problems.
Siddle made an explosive impact into the last Ashes series when he took a hat-trick on the opening day of the first Test in Brisbane, and although he was unable to inspire the Aussies to anything more than a 3-1 series defeat, the Victorian ended with 14 wickets to his name – only one fewer than Mitchell Johnson.
The left-arm seamer hasn’t been included in this squad for the trip to England however, leaving Siddle as arguably the main man in a seam attack which comprises of James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Jackson Bird, James Faulkner, Shane Watson and Ryan Harris.
Bird and Faulkner are unlikely to command starting berths immediately; Harris is injury-prone and Watson will perhaps be concentrating on his batting following less than stellar form, leaving Pattinson and Starc as the key pace threats to Siddle’s supremacy – something reflected in their odds of 3/1 and 4/1 respectively.
Both players are in their early 20s and will be making their Ashes debuts though, meaning that it could be the more experienced Siddle who comes to the fore.
A notoriously fiery bowler when pumped up, Australia could well find that they are relying upon Siddle for leadership given their current lack of competitors such as a Glenn McGrath or a Brett Lee.
This may not be the best Australian squad to ever tour England, but that is unlikely to dampen the paceman’s spirit.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.