Australia in India 2012-13 February 27, 2013

Bird out of India series with back injury


The fast bowler Jackson Bird will not rejoin Australia's squad in India after scans in Melbourne confirmed he has a bone stress injury in his back. Bird is likely to be out of action for up to two months, which is a worrying development for Australia in an Ashes year, given how well Bird's accurate seam-bowling style could translate to English conditions.

Bird took 0 for 10 from 10 overs in the warm-up match against the Indian Board President's XI two weeks ago but was not picked for the first Test in Chennai. He flew home after the Test to have his back injury assessed and Australia's team doctor Peter Brukner said the results had shown a problem with his lower back.

"Initial tests performed in Melbourne have confirmed that Jackson Bird has a bone stress injury of the low back," Brukner said. "He will undergo further tests tomorrow [Thursday]. He will not be re-joining the team in India."

The loss of Bird leaves Australia with a 16-man squad ahead of the second Test, which starts in Hyderabad on Saturday. At this stage, the selectors have not decided on whether to send a replacement player to join the group, leaving Mitchell Johnson as the only extra fast bowler in the group besides those who played in the first Test.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    @Meety, yes, you are quite right, was just thinking in general terms, with a view towards England.

  • Andrew on February 28, 2013, 23:34 GMT

    @Sebastian Booth on (February 28, 2013, 11:05 GMT) - sorry, but I don't think he'd even be a good net bowler over there as none of India's frontline spinners are leggies. (Not wanting to be contrary) - LOL! @landl47 on (February 28, 2013, 16:44 GMT) - the reason why Harris's name keeps getting mentioned is due to his quality. Yes he is an injury risk, & yes so is Patto, although I would say Hilfy is not. I would not play either Patto or Harris twice in a row. That said, as a one/two combination (assuming they can last 5 days), COULD be a succesful strategy. @Jono Makim - one seamer has to make way for a spinner me thinks, unless the pitch has grass on it.

  • Dummy4 on February 28, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    @Landl47, If he´s fully fit and reckons he can get through a full test then of course he´ll be picked. The guy averages 23 with ball in hand. Whether or not he plays five tests straight is unknown and probably unthinkable. If he can get through 2 or 3 and keep taking wickets at 23 I think he´ll have proved his worth on the tour. Now that Henriques has come onto the scene and Watto is also there you have plenty of bowling back up if he goes down.

  • Ashif on February 28, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    @ Jono Makim, this is what the attack would look like for each format if I was a selector in the long term;

    TESTS- Harris, Pattinson, Bird, Lyon with Siddle, Cutting, Starc and Zampa(after some decent seasons of shield) as backup

    ODIs- Mckay, Starc, Johnson, Agar with Richardson, Coulter-nile, Alistor Mcdermott and Doherty as backup

    T20- Hazelwood, Starc, Coulter-nile, Beer with Mcdermott, Richardson, and Doherty as backup ---------------------------- ------ I would try to keep each player as a specialist in each format so that they can remain as injury-free as possible (without playing them in multiple formats) This could hinder Hazelwood, Starc, Mcdermott, Richardson, NCN, Agar and a few other's performance in first-class cricket but its all for the best.

  • John on February 28, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    I know there's a lot of wishful thinking going on, but I'm still a little bewildered by those who think that Harris, a player who hasn't played a full series of test cricket in almost 4 years, can be selected for a five-game series. He's 33 now and by the time of the Ashes will be close to 34- retirement age for many fit fast bowlers, let alone one who constantly breaks down. He has a knee probelm that can't be fixed. The last time he played against England he took 0-91 before limping off.

    Aus has seen Pattinson break down which likely cost them a test against SA, Hilf break down which cost them not only him but also Watson through having to bowl 47 overs- and that's just in the last 5 tests! Why on earth would the selectors risk going into a series with England with a guy who, on past experience, is about 90% likely to be crocked at some time, propbably in the middle of a test?

    Get real, folks.

  • Dummy4 on February 28, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    So, everyone fit, what is everyones first choice pace attack? Assuming a 3 man attack plus a spinner and allrounder.... Think i´d take Harris and Patto as my first choice right now and probably Bird, errrr, third. I think Starc needs some more experience, he has no consistency at all and must improve greatly in that area. I like Sidds but Harris is better and I think Patto has surpassed him, Bird too I think will prove more effective. Johnson, well it depends on the day, doesn´t it! Hilfy is done I think while the Likes of Hazlewood and Cummins have lots of natural talent but need cricket under their belts. I don´t think Cutting has a good action for test cricket, he is going to struggle to move the ball away, NCN is in the same mould for mine, but he is a maybe. I just can´t see that Copeland has the penetration. Love the way Richardson swings it out at speed, he has a lot of upside potential. Sayers, Gannon et al i´ve not seen. McKay should be stuck with for odi´s.

  • Dummy4 on February 28, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    Mitch Johnson has 21 wickets @ 37 here from 6 tests, not great but acceptable on the dusty tarmacs of India. Surely he can't be worse than how Siddle and Starc turned up?

  • Dummy4 on February 28, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    @Meety, good point, I realised that after I posted it. I still think it'd be beneficial if he was sent over even if he didn't play, like Agar, he'd be a good net bowler and it'd be good for him to be around the set up of the team. It's a shame he can't play, because he does have experience in the subcontinent - he started his first-class cricket career there.

  • Adrian on February 28, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    Feel sorry for Bird as this will push him down the pecking order. For the tour to India, he was the 4th seamer (though, unfortunately, the selectors wanted Siddle's experience, so he was the 5th). He probably would have played in the 2nd test. But with Harris and Pat Cummins coming back, he will be down to 6th. And if it is in England, Siddle and Hilfenhaus will go ahead him so he will be right down at 8th. Pretty bad for someone with a sub 20 average.

  • Rich on February 28, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Well there goes the Ashes then. Not that we had much of a chance in the first place. Bird would've been awesome on English pitches.

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