July 2009
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Peter Siddle: Bell for KP? We're happy with that

July 23rd, 2009 by peter siddle in England, Test cricket, The Ashes


So KP has had his operation and is out for the rest of the series. It’s always a relief when a player of his quality is not going to be available. It’s very handy for us, he’s a great player and is going to leave a big hole in their side. You could see even in Cardiff that his niggles were playing on his mind and that was even more obvious at Lord’s. I got him out twice there, it’s always good to get a class player like that, and it was a pleasing personal moment in a disappointing match.

It looks like Ian Bell is going to replace him. He played against us for the Lions and we assumed that if anything went wrong batting-wise he would be the man to come in. He hasn’t had a lot of success against us in the past, and it was pleasing that we were able to continue that by getting him out first-ball at Worcester. When you take out a bloke that averages 50 in Test cricket for a bloke that struggles against you it always makes you happier.

Defeat at Lord’s was disappointing, especially given our rich history there but we just have to regroup and get ready for the next Test. I don’t think much went wrong there, we just had a couple of sessions where we were off the boil and giving them a 200-run head-start on the first morning without taking a wicket cost us.

I felt crook during that first spell on Friday morning and was almost sick on the outfield but when it’s the last couple of wickets you always want to be out there and get a few more. I tried my best to get the last couple but in the end it got the better of me. I did manage to get Graeme Swann, I fired a short one at him and he nicked the next. I felt in much better rhythm at Lord’s than at Cardiff and although there were a couple of spells where I was a bit loose I was pleased with how I bowled.

Andrew Flintoff had a great game at Lord’s. He’s a great competitor, and that spell in the second innings was tremendous. He does a lot for the team – it seems to make them a lot happier and compete better when he’s out there. He’s performing somewhere near his best at the moment, he knows that he only has three more matches so he can afford to give it everything throughout the rest of the series.

I was his fifth wicket on Monday but he’d already nearly cleaned me up with a yorker that I ended up knocking for four. When I got to his end he was joking about saying “that was a good shot”. I told him I was just worried about it breaking my foot so I had to get the bat down as quickly as possible. We had a little giggle, he seems like a nice character out on the pitch. As a player you always enjoy playing against the best and performing well against them, and he is definitely one of them. Enjoy might be the wrong word because it’s tough facing someone like that but that is what Test cricket is about. He’s definitely the quickest bowler I’ve faced. Dale Steyn and I had a little duel in South Africa but the way Flintoff bowls with the ‘heavy ball’ makes him quicker.

Mitchell Johnson is obviously disappointed with how he went at Lord’s but he’s got a few more overs under his belt and there were some good signs – he bowled some quality deliveries. There were some overs where he felt back to his best and it’s a matter of pushing on and seeing what happens in Northants. Players are going to go through some bad times so it’s just a question of the boys sticking with them and showing faith to help them through. We’re still unsure over Brett Lee’s fitness, it’s the sort of injury that you don’t want to rush back from, so again we’ll know more after Northants. I don’t know if I’m playing, I feel 100% at the moment so I’m happy to get some more overs under my belt or rest up before the third Test.

We also met the Queen and Prince Phillip at Lord’s. Speaking to my grandparents about it, in their generation that sort of thing was a big deal but these days back in Australia it’s not as big as it was. It was a nice opportunity and something not a lot of people get to do. Prince Philip asked me what state I played for and when I told him Victoria he said, “Oooh, it would be very cold there at the moment.” I had to agree with him, it would be.

Peter Siddle is blogging for thewisdencricketer.com throughout the Ashes

Posted in England, Test cricket, The Ashes | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Peter Siddle: Bell for KP? We're happy with that”

  1.   Pens says:

    “He hasn’t had a lot of success against us in the past…”

    By “us”, I presume you mean McGrath, Warne, Gillespie, Lee, Clarke, not Siddle, Hilfenhaus, Johnson & Hauritz.

  2.   Snicko says:

    “It’s always a relief when a player of his quality is not going to be available.”

    “As a player you always enjoy playing against the best and performing well against them.”

    Which is it, Pete?

  3.   The Pav says:

    I think a first ball duck could be considered to be a modicum of
    “not a lot of success” or is it now considered that a duck is a success for a specialist batsman

  4.   Kevin Pietersen and the rather large void he leaves « Mark Tilley Media says:

    [...] their take on the loss of England’s best batsman. Aussie bowler Peter Siddle, in his blog for The Wisden Cricketer, has made it clear that Australia couldn’t be happier that KP is a goner and also that Bell [...]

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