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Former Australia pace bowler Stuart Clark has questioned the national selectors’ decision to pick veteran seamer Peter Siddle for the upcoming Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Siddle is in line to play his first Test since November 2016 as he was drafted into the side after the pace duo of Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins were ruled out of the series due to injuries.
While Siddle’s inclusion is being seen as a move to inject some experience into the pace attack, Clark admitted that he still cannot understand why the national selectors and head coach Justin Langer would go back to the 33-year-old.
“I spat my cornflakes out when I read it,” Clark told Sky Sports Radio as quoted by Cricbuzz. “I played Test cricket with Peter Siddle, that’s how far back he goes. I’m not saying he is not a good bowler but they must have done it for experience, to get an old bloke in there with Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins not being there.”
Clark added that he would have preferred if Chris Tremain were picked over Siddle for the series.
He also took aim at Langer’s remark on picking players with a good character.
Langer made the comment as he is trying to restore the image and reputation of the national team after the shocking ball tampering scandal during the tour of South Africa earlier this year, which led to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft being banned by Cricket Australia.
“Chris Tremain is the obvious one,” Clark said. “I’ve read we have gone with character over ability and all this stuff. Well, what’s wrong with Tremain’s character? He seems fine to me.”
Clark also honed in on former Australia left-arm seamer Mitchell Johnson’s thoughts about Australia playing all three spinners selected in the squad.
Instead of agreeing with Johnson, Clark feels that Australia should use their pace attack to take Pakistan down.
“I would be nervous doing that,” he said when asked about Johnson’s remarks. “For years and years we have tried to beat them with spin, they are too good. If we’ve got the quick bowlers there then try and get in there and have a crack at them.”