No Australian cricketer has waited longer for a ODI recall than Peter Siddle, who has used the Big Bash League to catapult into World Cup calculations.
The 34-year-old Siddle will face India at the SCG on Saturday, playing his first ODI since 2010.
Siddle’s break between 50-over games for Australia is unprecedented, with the previous longest stretch being wicketkeeper Tim Zoehrer (1987-94).
Siddle has a golden chance to ensure his comeback fares better than that of Zoehrer, who played a single ODI in 1994 because of an Ian Healy injury and was ushered into first-class retirement when WA signed Adam Gilchrist.
Siddle doesn’t boast express pace but has earned a reputation as being the Adelaide Strikers’ ice-cold finisher with the ball.
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins loom as automatic selections in Australia’s World Cup squad, as they had been throughout the four-Test series against India when Siddle was constantly running drinks.
But if the Victorian can replicate his impressive BBL form while troubling Virat Kohli’s team during the three-match series, he could easily join the star trio on the plane to England.
“With those World Cup spots up for grabs for a lot of people, you definitely see the best come of a lot of blokes,” the veteran said.
“You are playing against one of the best one-day teams in the world.
“We may not be at full strength … but at the same time, it’s opportunities.
“I never thought I’d get the opportunity to play one-day cricket for Australia again. I’d probably forgotten about it really … I feel like a young kid getting his first opportunity.”
Aaron Finch confirmed that was the case, laughing that Siddle had been acting “like an eight-year-old” at times.
“He’s someone who every team loves having around,” Finch said.
“He well an truly deserves his spot and, any tour you go on, Sidds is one of the first picked, I would think – for what he brings to the team and the skill set he has.”
Siddle joining the Strikers in 2017 has proven the obvious catalyst for his ODI call-up.
“How quickly he improved was unbelievable and he’s kept doing that,” Finch said.
Siddle suggested T20 was the ideal arena for a fast bowler to hone their one-day craft.
Alex Carey, Aaron Finch (capt), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Jason Behrendorff, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Jhye Richardson.