Peter Siddle was ignored for the first four matches in Ashes 2015 © Getty Images

The team of Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, with support provided by Nathan Lyon, are supposed to ensure victories in Tests. Had the result of Ashes 2015 been different with the urn at Australia’s end, not one question would have raised against the squad selection by Cricket Australia. Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, or, for that matter, any person would not have given their attention to the absence of Peter Siddle. In cricket, until a team performs well with both bat and ball, a win is never sealed unless an extraordinary show by a cricketer that can single-handedly change the result into his country’s favour. Sakshi Gupta explains that the speculations about Australia losing the Ashes due to dropping Siddle is wrong: he was never a man who could alone win matches for Australia. READ: David Warner and Chris Rogers: A beautiful opening pair Australia will miss after Ashes 

It is part of human nature to dig out reasons that could have denied humiliation; Australia’s defeat in England was no exception. After warming the bench in the first four Tests, Siddle was recalled for the final Test at The Oval after the visitors had surrendered the urn to England following the mortifying defeat at Trent Bridge. That Test ended inside three days, exposing serious concerns for the Australians in the longest format.

Siddle returned when there was no pressure on him, when the series was lost. He bagged six wickets — two in the first innings and four in the second — thereby leading Australia to their second win in nine weeks and giving a deserved farewell to skipper Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers.

However, had Siddle been included in the squad from the first Test at Cardiff, would he be this successful and led Australia to an Ashes victory? That seems unlikely, for Siddle has seldom been Australia’s strike bowler who won matches single-handedly. He never was, and is still not. Every team has a character who makes huge difference with his presence or absence. In Australia’s case, it is Johnson. In recent times Johnson has made an impression in world cricket with his aggression, zeal and dynamism (not to speak of his horseshoe moustache) that instilled fear in every batsman’s heart. It is not the same with Siddle. READ: Chris Rogers teaches a lesson in humility as he walks away from international cricket

When the visitors were bowled out for 60 in the first innings at Trent Bridge, they wanted their bowlers to come up with something miraculous. That day was dedicated to Stuart Broad, whose 8 for 15 had shattered the urn holders into pieces. In reply to that incredible effort from England, a bowler of Johnson or Starc’s character could have change the game. Siddle turning into one-man army is difficult to imagine.

While Johnson was Man of the Series in the 5-0 win Down Under in Ashes 2013-14 with 37 wickets, Starc was the leading wicket taker in the World Cup 2015, where his 22 wickets helped Australia lift trophy. With these figures in mind, why would any selector doubt about them failing miserably? Moreover, batting failures played a significant part in Australia’s defeat, and there was hardly anything Siddle’s inclusion could have done. READ: Michael Clarke: 9 astounding records in Test cricket

Why, then, is the cry for the exclusion of the workhorse? Is picking three strike bowlers not the best way to go about it?

(Sakshi Gupta, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a sports fanatic whose mantra in life is “do only what you enjoy.” Her Twitter handle is @sakshi2929)