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You can imagine Siddle rescuing a drowning cat from a swollen river.Equally, you can imagine him drowning that same cat in that same river with those same brawny, wood-chopping arms.In an age of elite academies and gilded production lines, of perfect identikit cricketers with perfect identikit smiles, Siddle offers that rarest of qualities: authenticity.
He may no longer be the same bowler who slapped Gautam Gambhir on the helmet with his first ball in Test cricket, nor the searing enforcer who claimed what remains the last Ashes hat-trick to date, at a baying Brisbane in 2010.
Either way, you get the feeling the cat had it coming. Siddle thundered back into competitive action this week, taking five wickets for Victoria and looking somewhere close to his jagged best.
And so to next month’s Ashes series, an encounter in which Siddle was expected to play little or no part. He has only just recovered from 11 months out with a back injury. And though time – in more than one sense – is against him, somehow the idea of Siddle storming up on the rails and claiming a spot at the Gabba on 23 November, or even later in the series, just feels right.
But I wonder if it doesn’t tell us more about Siddle: this magnificent, gnawed corned beef sandwich of a man, the stalwart fast bowler with a fire-red streak, a vaguely unhinged air and an unshakeable sense of mateship.
Siddle is both good cop and bad cop, occasionally in the same innings, sometimes even in the same over.
What followed was the most savage flurry of short-pitched bumpers anyone had ever seen Siddle bowl.