x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Australia's Peter Siddle was inspired by Johnson

Fellow pace man's fitness regime spurs Australian teammate to take hat-trick on comeback from injury.

Peter Siddle, of Australia, celebrates after claiming the wicket of England’s Matt Prior on day one of the first Ashes Test at The Gabba yesterday. Siddle was so pumped, he went on take a hat-trick thereafter.
Peter Siddle, of Australia, celebrates after claiming the wicket of England’s Matt Prior on day one of the first Ashes Test at The Gabba yesterday. Siddle was so pumped, he went on take a hat-trick thereafter.

Peter Siddle collects his Test wickets at nearly 32 runs a piece, averages exactly 16 with the bat and takes a hat-trick every 13 years.

The toothy fast bowler filleted England's middle-order by taking the wickets of Alastair Cook, Matt Prior and Stuart Broad with three successive deliveries to launch the much-anticipated Ashes series in spectacular fashion on day one at The Gabba.

It was quite a way for Siddle to celebrate his 26th birthday and vindicate the selectors' bold decision to thrust Siddle, who has been out injured for 10 months, straight in the heat of an Ashes battle ahead of Doug Bollinger.

Siddle will probably struggle to remember the name of the schoolboys he knocked over for his first hat-trick as a 13-year-old but the names of the England batsman will live long in the memory of the fiery Victorian.

"It was an amazing day," said Siddle. "The crowd started to get behind me. It didn't really worry me too much, it being a hat-trick ball. The crowd starting roaring, and it was very loud out there and definitely did pump me up."

After tempting Cook to edge an away swinger to Shane Watson at slip and then bowling Prior, Siddle was then attempting to clip Broad's off-stump with the hat-trick ball. Yet he was so pumped up that he unleased a toe-crushing yorker which caught the left-hander plumb in front. Broad opted to review the decision, not for the first time in his career, but it merely delayed the inevitable.

"I wanted to charge in, bowl fast and try to hit the top of off," Siddle said. "The execution wasn't quite there, but obviously to hit him on the full like that was a dream ball that I'll remember for a long time."

It was the first hat-trick in a Ashes Test match since Darren Gough, the England pace bowler, took the wickets of Ian Healy, Stuart MacGill and Craig Miller in Sydney in January 1999.

Like Gough, Siddle has suffered with injury and has spent the best part of a year on the sidelines with a stress fracture of the lower back. He said that during his lay-off he vowed to return a more professional cricketer.

"I knew there were things I'd taken for granted. My body wasn't in good shape for Test cricket," Siddle said.

He said he was inspired by Australia teammate Mitchell Johnson. "He's in good shape, he's played consistent cricket for four years and he's never injured. That showed me I had to work hard and get the body right and push to be a competitive Test cricketer."

Siddle was also fired by the motivation of the defeat to England last year. Ricky Ponting, the captain, deliberately put the whole team through the experience of watching England celebrate at close quarters.

"I can still remember it now, the last wicket falling at The Oval Test and going out in the field for the presentation, seeing the boys going up on to that stage and 'yahooing' and cheering and getting handed the urn," said Siddle. "It's definitely something we don't want to see again."

* Compiled by The National staff with agencies

Hat-tricks at the Ashes

Player    Team    Venue    Year
Peter Siddle    Australia    Brisbane    Yesterday
Darren Gough    England    Sydney    January 2, 1999
Shane Warne    Australia    Melbourne    December 29, 1994
Hugh Trumble    Australia    Melbourne    January 5, 1904
Hugh Trumble    Australia    Melbourne    January 4, 1902
Jack Hearne    England    Leeds    June 30, 1899
Johnny Briggs    England    Sydney    February 2, 1892
Billy Bates    Australia    Sydney    January 20, 1883
Frederick Spofforth    Australia    Melbourne    January 2, 1879