Australia’s cricket selectors gave veteran paceman Peter Siddle a career lifeline Tuesday, calling him up to the 13-man squad for the second Test against New Zealand in Melbourne beginning on Boxing Day.
Siddle’s days in the Baggy Green appeared over when he endured a dismal Ashes series in England, taking just seven wickets in three Tests at an average of 42.14.
The 35-year-old was overlooked for the series against Pakistan last month and did not feature in discussions about the current series against New Zealand until Josh Hazlewood was injured.
James Pattinson is favourite to replace Hazlewood but chief selector Trevor Hohns said Siddle had plenty to offer at his home Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“Peter has been brought in as a 13th player for Melbourne,” Hohns said.
“He is a proven Test match performer with an exceptional knowledge of the MCG which will be a valuable part of our preparation.”
Australia lead the three-Test series 1-0 after a dominant 296-run victory in Perth.
Test captain Tim Paine defended Siddle after the Ashes, saying he kept playing despite a hip injury to ease the workload on his fellow bowlers.
Siddle has played 67 Tests since making his debut in 2008.
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