Peter Siddle is currently considered to be the leader of the bowling attack in Test matches for Australia, however he is never considered for any limited overs cricket. Is this entirely due to the selectors wanting to keep him fit and rested for Test matches, or is there something about his bowling style that makes him unsuitable for white ball cricket, even though he is considered the leading red ball bowler?

One possibility I can think of is that his style of 'hit the pitch' seam bowling is perhaps less suited to limited overs cricket which seems to be more about variations, such as slower balls, and swing bowling these days. Siddle to my knowledge does not posses a good slower ball and doesn't get a lot of swing. On the other hand, plenty of other good limited overs fast bowlers have a similar style. Siddle's consistency and accuracy seem like useful weapons for limited overs cricket, much like Glenn McGrath who also didn't get a lot of swing or bowl slower balls yet was an excellent ODI bowler.


There is no definition of being a "Test Match Specialist" per se, but yes, Peter Siddle has been labelled as one by the Australian selectors.

The exact reason for this could only be given by the Australian selectors, but I can speculate and think of the below reasons:

  1. Experience - With the retirements of stalwarts like Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Shane Warne and with frequent injuries and subsequent retirement of the experienced Brett Lee, the Australian selectors might have felt that it would best serve the team if there was some experienced bowler who could guide the team in this transition phase.

  2. Rotation - To keep the quicker bowlers fresh, Australian selectors have been following this policy of rotation. The need for rotation is even more relevant in keeping young guns like Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson, injury free. Making Siddle a test-specialist would give him ample time to recover when the itinerary hits the ODI and T20 period.

  3. Performance in the shorter version - Having a look at Siddle's statistics, his performance in the shorter version hasn't been as good as it has in Tests. The selectors might have deemed fit that the younger and faster bowlers would be better suited to the limited-overs version of the game and the Test bowling attack could be built around Siddle with the youngsters rotated to partner him.

  4. Lack of Variety: Like you mention in the question, limited-overs cricket these days is about variety and out-thinking the batsman than actually bowling good line and length. Gone are the days when batsmen played the ball on its merit. With the advent of T20, most batsmen try to hit every ball to the boundary or over it. In ODIs too one can observe the drastic decrease of left-alones to the wicket keeper to deliveries outside off-stump without the batsmen attempting a stroke. Keeping a constant line and length would make oneself predictable and therefore the batsmans job that much easier.
    Mcgrath was from a different era and the batsmen and their mentality was different then to what it is now. Also with all due respect to Siddle, Mcgrath was in a league of his own. So it would not be a valid comparison.

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