Coulter-Nile injury opens door for Bird


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    Seamer Jackson Bird says he is happy to be Australia’s Ashes back-up option after a career-threatening injury to Nathan Coulter-Nile cleared the path for the Tasmanian.

    Bird will miss the third Sheffield Shield round to join Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins for a Brisbane training camp next week, in a sure sign he will be named in the Australian squad for the first Test.

    West Australian paceman Coulter-Nile had excelled in the last fortnight for his state and was Australia’s leading quick in the recent one-day tour of India.

    Many tipped that form would win him the fourth fast-bowling spot in the Australian squad for the Gabba Test later this month.

    The latest setback follows stress fractures last summer and, at 30 years of age, casts serious doubt over his future.

    With James Pattinson also on the long-term injury list it leaves Bird out in front as Australia’s fourth fast-bowling option.

    The 30-year-old is happy to be in the mix and has no qualms about being referred to as a back-up, ready to play if injury strikes the NSW trio.

    “If those guys are all fit at the start of a Test match they more than likely will play,” Bird said.

    “I’ve got no issues with that; those guys are three of the best fast bowlers in the world when they’re up and running.

    “I’m under no illusions where I sit in that pecking order … but there’s been a lot of injuries around in the last 12 months so I’ll be ready to go.”

    The probing quick has 34 wickets at 27.5 in his eight Tests, including a solitary Ashes encounter on English soil in 2013.

    But he knows not to take a call-up for granted after being controversially overlooked for his home Test last summer in favour of Joe Mennie, who lasted just one match.

    It meant a text from coach Darren Lehmann telling him to pack his bags for Brisbane was well received.

    “I’ve been let down by selections in the last couple of years so you never get your hopes up,” he said.

    “It’s probably good for my mental state more than anything because thinking about it, it’s in the back of your mind all the time.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • November 10th 2017 @ 12:44pm
      Michael Coote said | November 10th 2017 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

      The time has come for NCN to switch his career to the T20 Leagues. He continues to break down and at 30 that is a very bad sign he’s body simply can’t handle the longer forms. With a bit of Batting ability as well and he can field, he would make a good living playing T20.

      • November 11th 2017 @ 7:19pm
        Don Freo said | November 11th 2017 @ 7:19pm | ! Report

        Nothing to do with long form. He only bowled for one day against the Poms in a 2 day match. It was just a hot spot and the rest is precautionary. Anyone who has played cricket knows that 30yo is not old for cricket…and NCN has not even played all 12 years of that senior career.

        He’s fresh enough.

    • November 10th 2017 @ 1:42pm
      Jameswm said | November 10th 2017 @ 1:42pm | ! Report

      Shouldn’t have made a difference. NCN’s red ball form has been pretty good, but he still would have had a way to go to pass Bird.

    • November 10th 2017 @ 5:56pm
      John Erichsen said | November 10th 2017 @ 5:56pm | ! Report

      Bird’s experience with the drinks gets him the nod over some of the other candidates. Jackson won’t let us down if he gets a bowl. Of course, unless Hazlewood gets injured, Bird’s bowling will be confined to the nets. I expect selectors will want more pace from the replacement if either Starc or Cummins go down.

    • November 10th 2017 @ 6:20pm
      Larry1950 said | November 10th 2017 @ 6:20pm | ! Report

      Well I’m at a loss to follow form in the shield so far this season, Qld have had 2 outrights in under the mandatory 4 days and they’ve got no bowlers of note, The much vaunted WA batting order failed to cope with a test battery from NSW, SA bats clocked up big runs but was the bowling attack for Vic any good? No names are getting runs against the poms in a practice match & the pommie attack outside Anderson and Broad have virtually no experience or talent so what can we expect at the Gabba. Better to lose the toss because captains are reluctant to send the opposition in and that’s probably the best way to go with our unsettled weather. Then it’s the pink ball gamblers test in Adelaide, who has a clue what will unfold.
      Last man standing in the pace brigade might decide the series, they’re already dropping like flies. Siddle might be a show by the fifth test if only by default, what’s wrong with the fitness of quicks nowadays, with all the medical science & specialised load management?

      • November 11th 2017 @ 8:48pm
        Simoc said | November 11th 2017 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

        Looking at our depth, the CA X1 are good for 75 if the going gets tough.

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