Bird comes back in contention for first Ashes Test

Sydney, July 4 (ANI): Australian pacer Jackson Bird has come back into contention for to play at Trent Bridge along with Steve Smith, with compelling performances on the second day of the tour match against Worcestershire.

However, with James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc near certain starters for the series opener, Bird, who was the Man of the Match in his last Test at the SCG in January but injured since, appears to be in a battle with Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris for the third pace spot, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

But Bird said that he could complement the more attacking bowlers with his control, which was unwavering during the game against Worcestershire, adding that he can bring something different on the field unlike Siddle, Starc and Pattinson, who cannot swing the ball must despite bowling fast.

According to Bird, he tends to stay away from any runs unlike the other bowlers, who can go for a few runs because they are such attacking bowlers.

However, Bird, who had left the India tour with a stress fracture in his back, said that he does not expect his Man of the Match performance against Sri Lanka in January to count for much at selection, adding that he just needed to focus on the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, axed England opener had praised Bird, saying that the Australian quick, who scored 4-38 on Wednesday, had been the pick during the Worcestershire game and had managed to make the ball reverse.

Stating that he felt that Bird bowled well with the new ball, Compton said that although there was not a lot of swing, Bird was able to angle the ball sharply at times to right handers, adding that even though it was hard work, he did not get too many wrong.

Smith, unlucky not to have been included in the initial Ashes squad after the fight he showed amid total chaos in India, made a swashbuckling 68 not out before the Australians declared at 4-396 before lunch, the report added. (ANI)

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