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Veteran Siddle primed for Test recall

AAP logoAAP 27/10/2016 Michael Ramsey

It's the million-dollar question facing Australia's Test selectors which veteran allrounder Dan Christian reckons is a no-brainer.

With spearheads Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood locked in for Thursday's first Test against South Africa, the selection panel must decide whether to name Peter Siddle or Jackson Bird as third seamer.

The pair have gone head to head in Victoria's Sheffield Shield day-night clash with Tasmania at the MCG and are both likely to feature in the 12-man Australian squad to be named on Friday.

Bird took advantage of his opportunity to impress with the pink ball with figures of 3-75 and 3-59 in Victoria's two innings.

With a day's play remaining at the end of Thursday, Siddle had two wickets for the match but has sent down 17 overs compared to Bird's 43.

The 31-year-old seamer's workload has been managed in his return to first-class cricket after suffering a stress fracture in his back in February but Siddle's Victorian teammates were only too happy to make the case for his Test recall.

"I've seen a lot of him recently when he's played for us, last year and this year, and he's just a class above, I think," Christian said.

"He should probably be in the Australian team all the time.

"When you've got someone like Starc at the other end bowling 150km/h and swinging it around ... Sidds has done that (holding) role for six or seven years.

"He's got 200 Test wickets. He's a proven performer so hopefully he gets another opportunity."

Siddle has looked sharp in his limited bowling opportunities and is likely to feature prominently in Victoria's pace attack on Friday, with Tasmania sitting on 3-19 and requiring 346 runs to pull off an unlikely win.

"We held him back a little bit to be able to bowl him more tonight and then again tomorrow morning," Christian said on Thursday.

"It worked out really well. Obviously everyone else picked up the slack and bowled really well today."

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