Australian pace bowler Peter Siddle is hoping to return to the Test side for the opening Ashes Test after ten months out with a back injury.
Siddle is one of five seamers in the squad of 17 named for the Brisbane Test. His last appearance for the side came at the start of the year, when he took a five-wicket haul against Pakistan before fractures to his back ruled him out for a significant spell. With the Ashes cricket odds suggesting England are in with an excellent chance of retaining the urn, Siddle could be vital for the home side if he's back to his best.
With Siddle absent from the Test side for much of this year, other bowlers have stepped up and now the Victoria bowler will face a battle to get back in the side, something he is more than aware of.
"I've obviously been out of the game for ten months, and not playing, and those blokes that have come in have performed well and done very well for Australia," he said.
With Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson likely to be named in the side, Siddle may be in a battle with one of those bowlers who has impressed in his absence, Doug Bollinger. The left-armer has looked good since coming into the Test side following Siddle's injury, taking 22 wickets, at an average of 23.40. Bollinger was suffering with an injury picked up in the recent series loss to India but has been declared fit in time for next week's series opener. The Ashes cricket betting suggests bowlers will be vital in the first Test, so the selectors will have to choose wisely.
With the Gabba looking as though it will once again prove to be a seamer friendly pitch, all the Aussie fast bowlers will be desperate to take advantage of it. The Aussie management will now have a week to decide which way they are going to go.