Peter Siddle’s troubled 2016 continued as he was ruled out of the Hobart Test against South Africa due to a sore back. The Australian pacer had suffered a stress fracture in the back following Australia’s tour to New Zealand in February 2016 and missed the Christchurch Test. Siddle’s absence could mean a debut for New South Wales pacer, Joe Mennie, who was included in the squad for the Perth Test but did not play.
In a statement released by Cricket Australia, team physiotherapist David Beakley said, “Siddle had some lower back soreness at the conclusion of the first Test Match in Perth. Whilst we expect bowlers to be sore after Test matches, this was slightly worse than we expected and given that he was returning from a significant back injury, we organised some scans. The scans demonstrated some low grade bone oedema around his old stress fracture that is likely to be a flare up of his previous lower back injury.”
Siddle bowled a total of 38 overs in the Perth Test, taking just three wickets and giving away 98 runs. Australia’s batting collapse of 10 for 86 did not give the bowlers any rest and Siddle, along with the likes of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, toiled in the second innings as South Africa notched up 540/8 declared, thanks to centuries from JP Duminy and Dean Elgar.
Mennie has played two ODIs in the series against South Africa, taking three wickets in a series where Australia were whitewashed 5-0 for the first time in an ODI series.
Beakley said that he was hopeful of Siddle recovering quickly and will monitor his recovery closely.
Australia have included Jackson Bird as cover for the second Test in Hobart. The Tasmanian pacer, who picked up 5/59 in his last Test against New Zealand in Christchurch, has had modest returns in the two Sheffiled Shield games, picking up seven wickets.
Australia lost the opening Test of their home summer for the first time since 1988 and are under immense pressure heading into the Hobart Test, with coach Darren Lehmann saying,”Every spot is under pressure.” Australia have lost four Tests in a row and at Hobart, they have lost only one of their 12 Tests played at the Bellerive Oval.