Sydney, July 30 (ANI): Former Australian cricketer Tim Coyle has backed Australian fast bowler Jackson Bird for the Old Trafford Test, saying that Bird has developed into an all-round fast bowling package ready for a Test cricket return in the Ashes
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Bird, who took two wickets in Australia's tour match against Sussex, constantly attacking the batsmen's defences and drying up the runs, competes with Mitchell Starc for the final place in the Australian attack for the third Test.
The report further said that former Tasmanian coach Coyle had identified and helped in improving Bird's talents when the seamer was languishing in Sydney grade cricket, unable to crack it with New South Wales.
Stating that Bird would not be intimidated by an Ashes call-up, Coyle said that his former protegee has the skills to thrive in English conditions even though he may be a bit nervous early in the game, adding that the he believed that Bird will be a tough proposition for the English batsmen as the Dukes ball will suit him well.
According to Coyle, Bird's biggest asset is that he can challenge the defence of the opposing batsmen a high percentage of the time, adding that he can make the batsmen play a lot around leg stump and threaten to hit the legs and the stumps.
Coyle further said that Bird is a better all-round package now that he can bowl with both the new and the old balls and in suitable conditions, adding that he has managed to improve in his control factor, seam movement and add a bit of swing.
Stating that Bird might have a slight advantage early in that English batsmen have seen very little of him, Coyle however, said that England will have done plenty of research in that area.
Bird averages 16 with the ball from two Tests and was man-of-the-match in his last start against Sri Lanka at the SCG, although the report added that a back injury cut his India tour short and he was overlooked for the first two Ashes Tests. (ANI)