Nothing more I could ask for - Siddle
Peter Siddle reflected on an “amazing” birthday after becoming only the fourth Australian to take an Ashes hat-trick, on a sensational opening day of the Ashes.
In removing Alastair Cook, Matt Prior and Stuart Broad with successive deliveries, 26-year-old Siddle ensured his name will go down in history alongside Fred Spofforth, Hugh Trumble, who achieved the feat twice, and Shane Warne.
Siddle’s stunning burst in the evening session reduced England to 197 for seven, and was the chief reason behind a total of 260 which Ian Bell, the tourists’ top scorer, admitted was “under par”.
Australia reached 25 without loss by the close at the Gabba, and will resume tomorrow aiming to establish a match-winning advantage.
“It’s good to wake up to your birthday in the morning,” said Siddle. “To have that happen today has been amazing. It’s just been an amazing day.
“There have been a few (hat-tricks). It’s a good list to join.”
Cook was caught at first slip pushing at a delivery that was angled across him, Prior bowled via his pad as he aimed across the line and Broad struck on the toe by a fast, full inswinger. Aleem Dar’s lbw verdict was upheld after Broad asked for the decision to be reviewed.
Siddle revealed: “The plan was pretty similar all day, to pitch it up, make them play, be patient and consistent with those lines.
“It was a bit different to how I normally bowl; I usually bang the wicket a bit short of a length.
“I got Cook and Prior with two balls like that and I think the third was a bit of adrenaline from the crowd. The crowd starting roaring, and it was very loud out there and definitely did pump me up.”
As for the momentous delivery, Siddle was honest enough to admit it did not go exactly to plan.
“It didn’t really worry me too much, it being a hat-trick ball,” he added. “I wanted to charge in, bowl fast and try to hit the top of off.
“The execution wasn’t quite there, but obviously to hit him on the full like that was a dream ball that I’ll remember for a long time.
“I bowled it fast. It didn’t really come off as the ball I wanted but I got him so there’s nothing more I could ask for.”
For Siddle, the pain of Australia’s Ashes defeat in England last year was a huge motivating factor today - and will continue to be so for the remainder of a series that could hardly have begun in more thrilling fashion.
He recalled: “I can still remember it now, the last wicket falling at the Oval Test and going out in the field for the presentation, seeing the (England) boys going up on to that stage and ‘yahooing’ and cheering and getting handed the urn.
“It’s definitely something we don’t want to see again.”
However, he was eager to acknowledge that, while Australia may be in the ascendancy at the moment, there is much hard work to be done tomorrow morning and beyond.
“There’s still plenty of time left in this match - four days to go,” Siddle said. “Tomorrow morning is going to be the crucial time. Anything can happen.
“It’s always tough up here early. We need to work hard that first hour, see the new ball off and see where we can go from there. It’s going to be tough times.”