Tag: Peter Siddle

This week we’re talking about Peter Siddle bowling in a woolly hat

We’re going to be upfront about this: today’s post is largely a means of trying to exploit our readership in a most-likely forlorn bid to remember a very trivial thing which we cannot currently remember. But let’s have a few words about Matt Renshaw before we get into that.

This was going to be another Matt Renshaw piece. Last week Renshaw made 101 out of Somerset’s total of 202 and we were very much impressed. This week he made 112 out of 216, which is basically the same thing.

One thing we greatly enjoy in county cricket is when one player is very dominant. This scenario allows us to ignore everything else that is going on and just keep writing about the same player. This makes life an awful lot easier because the County Championship is big and sprawling and our attention is not.

The downside is that eventually we run out of things to say. (And in this case another downside is that Renshaw is an Australian person.)

Fortunately, once we’ve acknowledged the main guy’s brilliance, there’s usually a very minor detail from elsewhere in the County Championship that takes our interest and we can just start writing about that instead. (Another thing we greatly enjoy is digressing – although technically, going by the headline, the Renshaw stuff’s actually the digression. This next bit’s ‘the main story’.)

Today Peter Siddle bowled in a woolly hat. Here’s a screengrab from footage shot from behind (which, it turns out, is pretty much the worst angle from which to try and clearly distinguish between hat and hair).

Peter Siddle in a woolly hat (via ECB)

Our position on this is that we prefer seam bowlers bowling in woolly hats to spin bowlers bowling in sunglasses. Beyond that, we haven’t yet formed much of an opinion.

It’s a matter to give some thought to, certainly, but sadly we have not had any available thought capacity due to an unexpected side effect of Siddle’s hat bowling. When we saw him doing it, the first thing we thought was: “This sort of reminds us of that time we saw a player wearing a sunhat on a really cold day but then when we looked more closely it turned out he was also wearing a woolly hat under the sunhat.”

Here’s the thing. We can’t remember who that person was and it’s really hard to stop thinking about it. We’re so close to knowing. So close.

We’re not googling because that’s against the rules, but we figure it’s okay to give you guys the same limited information we have at our disposal in the hope that you just instantly know who it might have been. Then we can just all forget about Double Hat Man and really focus on the bowling-in-a-hat issue instead.

We’re pretty sure the person was from the West Indies and that he played for Somerset about the same time that Ian Blackwell did. That’s all we’ve got. Anyone?

Will Peter Siddle play in the Ashes?

Peter Siddle (Sarah Ansell)

We’re having one of those bizarre moments of doubt. Do cricketers play in the Ashes? It sounds wrong to say they ‘play the Ashes’ but ‘play in the Ashes’ suddenly sounds like the person’s a gleeful pyromaniac dancing in the aftermath of their latest deed.

We’ve started a new feature in this week’s Cricket Badger (sign up here). It’s called Australia Pace Attack Injury Watch (catchy, we know) and it’s based on the high likelihood that Australia will suffer at least a couple more fast bowling injuries in the coming months.

Australia’s fearsome four-pronged pace attack

The joke is not at the players’ expense. It’s shitty for them to pursue something wholeheartedly only to repeatedly find themselves sitting on the sidelines for extended periods. It’s more about the Ashes build-up and excited media coverage of “Australia’s four-pronged pace attack”.

There was, in theory, a possibility that the home team might field Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, James Pattinson and Josh Hazlewood in the same side. It is also possible that all the world’s ducks might start clambering onto each other to form giant megaducks, each comprising thousands of individuals. Possible, but highly unlikely.

James Pattinson was this week diagnosed with a stress fracture, so Australia have already lost one prong. The first Test is, what, six weeks away, so further prongs could yet disappear (or fail to sufficiently recover, because they’re not all exactly fit and firing as it is). Oh for the certainty of the good old days of Ryan Harris, eh?

The truth of the matter is that Australia will field ‘some sort of attack’ in the Ashes and it will probably feature one or two of those names or maybe none of them. Who will fill the gaps? Who will actually play?

Who will step into the breach come side strain or knee knack?

Well not John Hastings, that’s for sure. While he only has one Test cap, we can’t be too sure how far down the list Australia will get. But he’s off it altogether though, having retired from the format today due to a back injury.

That leaves us with names like Nathan Coulter-Nile, Hilton Cartwright, Trent Copeland and Jackson Bird. We haven’t bothered checking whether any of these players are currently fit.

Maybe also Peter Siddle. The actually-not-particularly-old-timer’s taken five wickets in Victoria’s first two one-day games this season.

If you feel like you haven’t heard from Siddle in a while, you haven’t – he hasn’t played since last November due to injury.

Feels like we’ve been here before.

Peter Siddle doesn’t concern himself with hype

Who’d have thought that it would be Peter Siddle taking all the wickets? Who’d have thought that in Australia’s brave new world of James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and shiny new Ashton Agar, it would be tired old veteran Siddle, with his 150 Test wickets, proven record and exceptional fitness who’d be doing all the damage?

Australia’s opening bowlers

Pattinson and Starc pretty much met our expectations. Their best isn’t a fair representation of how good they are overall, even if it’s the peg on which the hype is hung. Good deliveries sit alongside a dash of shod and a splash of mediocrity. The ball swung and they could have had more wickets, but if they’d wasted fewer deliveries, they would have had more wickets.

You can see why they’re picked and there’s enough about them to convince us that both will eventually become very good bowlers. They’ll produce a few influential performances over the course of this series, but Pattinson in particular seems a bit of a nervy type and might need a few Tests before he’s really settled in international cricket.

Australia’s spinner

In time-honoured tradition, Australia dropped their spinner because they suspected they’d unearthed a better one. Ashton Agar is the new man for this particular series.

What’s he like? Well, first impressions are that he’s a left-arm spinner much like any other. Big hands, good use of the permissible 15 degrees of flexion and doesn’t look too fazed. Like many young bowlers, there were some wide ones and some short ones, but he seemed to spin it a little and we can see how wickets could ensue.

Australia’s Peter Siddle

Peter Siddle did so many unfashionable things well that he performed best when it came to the only measurement that matters – wickets.

Siddle made the batsmen play more than any other bowler and when they started to work out what to play and leave, he used the width of the crease to introduce a new element into their calculations. When the wickets didn’t come, he persisted until they did. He didn’t tire either and nor did he look particularly arsed that it was the first day of the Ashes.


Don’t throw out your hammer until you’ve taken your fancy new nail gun out of the box and tested it a few times. In fact, don’t throw out your hammer. Why would you throw a hammer away? It’s resilient and it does the bloody job.

Why Peter Siddle doesn’t need the unplayable delivery

Pre-Ashes analysis tends to treat the players as if they’re machines. If it swings, Jimmy Anderson will be great; if it doesn’t, he’s screwed. Alastair Cook has a technical weakness. He’ll score no runs.

But cricket doesn’t work like that. For one thing, pretty much everybody’s shitting themself of the first morning of the first Ashes Test and decision-making and technique are all over the place.

Cricketers are rarely at their best or their worst. They’re almost always somewhere in between and different players have different extremes.

For example, if we say that a player’s effectiveness can be rated from 0-100, Jimmy Anderson and Mitchell Johnson might operate within a range that is 40-100. Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath probably delivered 80-100. Ajit Agarkar gives you about 40-60.

Peter Siddle pretty much gives you 80, every day, every ball. Maybe on a bad day, he might slip down to about 78 and on a hat trick day, he might get up around 81, but he’s not someone who’s going to bowl unplayable 94mph swinging, seaming deliveries.

Nor will he bowl any shod.

The thing is, Peter Siddle is also up against players who have their own performance range. Ian Bell played amazingly well on day one of the first Test and we wouldn’t have put much money on Siddle getting him out, but that’s not what Siddle’s there for.

If a batsman slips below a performance level of 80 at any point in his innings, Peter Siddle WILL GET HIM OUT.

You don’t have to be superhuman to succeed in Test cricket, you just have to be better than your opponent at any given moment. Peter Siddle is better than most batsmen for at least some of the time. That’s all you need.

Peter Siddle takes an Ashes hat trick at the Gabba

Peter Siddle makes some face when he takes a hat trickWith his Ming the Merciless collar and his mercilessly minging face, Peter Siddle barrelled in and dismissed Alastair Cook, Matt Prior and Stuart Broad in successive balls.

We got through the experience by pretending it was a cartoon. Siddle looks like a cartoon character somehow.

Peter Siddle runs in all day

Peter Siddle pleads to the gods to free him from his running in tormentThis seems to be Peter Siddle’s greatest strength in the eyes of his team mates. When asked about their bowling attack, Australian players refer to Johnson’s speed, Hilfenhaus’s swing, Clark’s control and Siddle’s ability to run in all day.

You don’t want bowlers to run in all day. You want them to take enough wickets that your team can have a bat.

You also want your bowlers to release the ball immediately after running in, preferably propelling it somewhere towards the stumps. Merely running in isn’t even half the job. The batting equivalent would be ‘he holds the bat in his hands’.

Australia’s bowlers aren’t flattered by comparisons with the past

Largely because they’re a bit toss. 425 ain’t good enough and England haven’t knackered out Australia’s four bowlers as much as they should have done.

Mitchell Johnson

Mitchell Johnson or James Anderson? Easy.

Johnson has promised a lot, but unless you love non-bouncing wides, he hasn’t really delivered. We love non-bouncing wides from ‘once in a generation’ Australian opening bowlers, so we’re suddenly a massive Mitchell Johnson fan.

Ben Hilfenhaus

When the ball swings, Ben Hilfenhaus looks a handy bowler, otherwise he’s a bit innocuous. This makes him an Australian James Anderson, only without the inswinger or the reverse outswinger, or the reverse inswinger.

He’s basically a quarter as good as Jimmy.

Peter Siddle

Peter Siddle‘s the opposite of Mitchell Johnson. Where Johnson seems to get wickets while bowling dross, Siddle bowls well and gets nowt for it. He generally acts like a dick, which is what you want from Australian cricketers, so paradoxically, we find ourself liking him.

Nathan Hauritz

When you’re describing an Australian spinner as ‘worthy’, you know you want pitches that offer a bit of turn.

We’ve gone easy on Mitchell Johnson in this post. We didn’t over at The Wisden Cricketer.

Peter Siddle’s bowling speed

Peter Siddle's axe slipped from his graspArch woodchopper cum fourth choice Australian quick, Peter Siddle, can whang the ball at speeds up to about 150kph, which is about 93mph in old money and officially makes him a fast bowler on the King Cricket scale.

In light of this, we now want to see all young English quick bowlers spending their time chopping wood rather than playing on Xbox 360s or ‘conditioning’ themselves. If you spend all your time in the gym, that’s what you’re fit for – lifting things up and putting them down again inside a gym.

Bowl some balls and chop some wood, you fin-haired jessies.

Peter Siddle to make his Test debut

His name rhymes with Lidl - this is to be celebratedStuart Clark’s injured, so arch woodchopper, Peter Siddle, looks set to make his Test debut for Australia in the second Test against India at Mohali.

Ricky Ponting said:

“He’s a no-nonsense sort of guy and no-nonsense sort of bowler who will run in and deliver what you want him to deliver.”

Which is, presumably, the ball.

Go Peter Siddle! Deliver the correct object in no-nonsense fashion!

Peter Siddle’s UNBELIEVABLE skill

Dear Australia, Regarding the faces attached to your young cricketers...Everyone’s got a skill. Everyone’s got one thing that they’re inexplicably good at.

For many people it’s something useful, like having the ability to retain facts. Other people have more specific abilities, like being good at table tennis without every really having played before. Our skill is drinking litres and litres of water if we do anything remotely physical. We can’t actually carry enough if we’re climbing a hill or something.

Australia’s new fast bowler, Peter Siddle, has a skill. Peter Siddle’s skill is that he’s really, really good at chopping wood.

According to Cricinfo, he was so good at chopping wood that he did it competitively. “District under-age woodchopping titles came his way in his early teenage years.”

Under-age woodchopping titles, not ‘youth woodchopping titles’.

That’s quite apart from the most obvious question, which is: woodchopping titles?

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