Cricket Michael Clarke suggests Peter Siddle could play first Ashes Test

Michael Clarke has suggested spinner Nathan Lyon may be sacrificed to accommodate four frontline Australia seamers in the first Ashes Test.

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Michael Clarke suggests Peter Siddle could play first Ashes Test play

Michael Clarke suggests Peter Siddle could play first Ashes Test

(Michael Clarke suggests Peter Siddle could play first Ashes Test)
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Peter Siddle could be a surprise inclusion in Australia's line-up for the first Ashes Test, after captain Michael Clarke suggested an all-pace attack was worthy of consideration given conditions in Cardiff.

Experienced seamer Siddle had been expected to be a back-up option for the five-Test series, with Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood poised to share fast-bowling duties following Ryan Harris' injury-enforced retirement.

However, a green wicket in Cardiff has led Clarke to suggest Siddle may yet be preferred to spinner Nathan Lyon.

In quotes reported on Cricket Australia's official website, Clarke said: "From what I've seen today, and what the groundsman's telling me, I think we're going to see some sideways movement from the fast bowlers.

"So the selectors, I think they'll contemplate playing four fast bowlers if the wicket stays like that.

"As much as I always love having a spinner in the team, you've got to pick the best 11 for the conditions.

"Sidds [Siddle] was unplayable [in the nets on Monday] - nobody laid a bat on him.

"I thought Sidds was probably the pick of the bowlers in the last tour game [against Essex], he didn't get the wickets but I thought he was the pick."

Clarke also confirmed he would bowl first if the wicket retains its green tinge on Wednesday's opening day of the series.

"If the wicket's how it is today [Monday] and you win the toss, you'd definitely bowl first," he added.

"I think both teams would do that."

Australia's skipper also backed Shane Watson to play a role with the ball if selected, even though the all-rounder has been short of overs on tour.

"Watto is fully fit, he's available to bat at 100 per cent and bowl at 100 per cent," stated Clarke.

"He's a senior player now, and that's the most important for me. I'll be asking him and if he tells me he's ready to go ... I back that 100 per cent."

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