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Legendary Australia batsman Allan Border believes that pace bowler Peter Siddle may have done enough during the Big Bash League (BBL) to revive his international career.
Siddle was part of the Adelaide Strikers’ squad that won the 2017/18 BBL and finished the tournament with 11 wickets in 11 matches at an average of 20 and an economy rate of 5.94.
Given how well he fared, Border admitted that Siddle should be back on the selectors’ radar and could be on the cusp of making his Test comeback.
The 33-year-old has not played Test cricket since November 2016 and lost his place in the side while recovering from a back injury. In that time, Jackson Bird and Pat Cummins have both enjoyed a lot of success with the ball.
Despite Cummins coming off a strong showing during the Ashes, where he was the highest wicket-taker with 23 victims at an average of 24.65, Border still feels that Siddle has a chance of regaining his spot in the Test team.
“I’ve been very impressed,” Border told Fox Sports’ The Splash podcast as quoted by foxsports.com.au. “I would’ve thought Peter Siddle, bowling the pace he bowls, his style didn’t really have all the toys that the bowlers have these days — as far as slower balls and variations — and I thought he might get clattered around a little bit.
“But he was a real surprise packet. And I was impressed with his pace, actually — he got his pace through to the 140s at times and he had some good variation. He was one of the picks of the year.”
Even though Australia’s squad for the upcoming four-Test series in South Africa has already been confirmed, Border pointed out that should a member of the pace attack become injured, Siddle could very well be called up as a replacement.
“Definitely — he’d be there just in the selectors’ back pocket,” Border said. “They’d be watching closely and if anyone goes down with any sort of injury, Sidds would be an ideal replacement.
“You know what you’re going to get. He’s going to bowl good solid lines and lengths, his pace looks as though it’s come back and you know he’s a real goer.
“On those wickets in South Africa that do offer a little bit to the seam bowlers at times, he could be absolutely perfect for those conditions. Certainly I wouldn’t discount him from being picked — the horse for the course. He would bowl well in those conditions.”
Border also feels that the selectors have to keep a close eye on seamer Chadd Sayers, who was ousted from the Test squad for the tour of South Africa.
While Sayers has yet to make his international debut, Border feels that the 30-year-old could play a massive role in the 2019 Ashes series, which will be held in England.
“Chadd’s one of those guys I’d keep my eye on because he could do a good job in South Africa if called on to do that but also in the Ashes next year,” Border said. “I see him as a Terry Alderman type, that was hugely successful in England on a couple of Ashes occasions. He was brilliant.
“I think (Sayers) could do that sort of role: not blisteringly quick but swings the ball and stands the seam up and just skidding sort of deliveries.
“He could do very well in England. I’d be definitely pencilling him in for a potential Ashes spot, depending on how things roll on over the next 12-18 months.”