Starc backs Siddle to become integral part of Australia’s Test set-up
Mitchell Starc feels Peter Siddle has plenty of gas left in his tank. (Getty Image)

Mitchell Starc, Australia’s pace spearhead has backed his partner Peter Siddle to keep his place in tact in the Australian Test set-up and even called him a strong candidate for next year’s Ashes series in England.

Siddle, who did not play Test cricket for Australia for nearly two years, was drafted back in the squad for the two Test series against Pakistan, with Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins nursing injuries, and the 33-year-old impressed straightaway, producing economical figures of 3 for 58 in Dubai’s sweltering heat with 11 maidens from 29 overs.

“There’s no reason he can’t play a part in the summer at all,” Starc told cricket.com.au. “When you’re looking to England and the Ashes where he’s just come off some success over there for Essex, there’s absolutely no reason why he can’t play a massive part in the next 12 months. He’s always been that bowler who will work hard for you all day, he’ll bowl that consistent line and length.

“Whether he’s building pressure or taking wickets that way, he’ll do it all day and all Test. It’s fantastic to watch him go about his business and taking wickets for Australia.”

Tenth year into his Test career, Siddle has developed the image of a workhorse over the years because of his ability to bowl tirelessly. Despite being away from Australia’s radar, Siddle was making noise for Essex this season, picking up 37 wickets in seven County matches. Starc feels that Siddle will not make it easy for the selectors to ignore him despite the availability of Hazlewood and Cummins. With a four-Test series against India lined up in December, a lot will depend on how Siddle performs against the No. 1-ranked side in the world to present a case of case for the Ashes.

“He bowled so patiently, it’s what he’s done for such a long time for Australia,” Starc said. “He’s bowled that persistent line and length and created pressure to take wickets. It’s great to see him back in the team taking wickets. Just seeing a smile on his face, the enjoyment he’s got from being back in the group, playing Test cricket for Australia again, it’s great for everyone to see that. He’s worked hard to get back here.”