Australia in South Africa 2013-14 January 30, 2014

Bird cleared for South Africa tour

ESPNcricinfo staff

Fast bowler Jackson Bird has been cleared to join Australia on their Test tour of South Africa after he was earlier in doubt due to a back injury.

Bird and Shaun Marsh were the two players held back from flying to South Africa with the rest of the squad due to fitness issues, and it was widely expected that Bird would join the group, while Marsh remains in doubt due to his calf problem.

Bird jarred his back while fielding for the Melbourne Stars in the BBL and missed a Futures League match in an effort to recover and join the squad in South Africa.

Bird and the allrounder Moises Henriques, who played the first Twenty20 against England, will fly out on Friday to join the rest of the touring party ahead of next week's tour game in Potchefstroom.

Although it is unlikely that Bird will be able to force his way into the side for the first Test in Centurion, he may add to his three Test caps if injury strikes any of Australia's first-choice fast men on the tour.

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  • Ragavendran on January 31, 2014, 1:13 GMT

    @Vineet: Your team looks perfect with 4 quicks in it. The last time that Aus won a series in SA under Ponting in 2009, they played 4 quicks. Hint,hint..

  • Scott on January 30, 2014, 22:07 GMT

    @Vineet Kumar, that's not a bad looking batting line up either. My only issue with your side is that Smith will not bowl many overs as he clearly isn't, never was and most probably never will be, a decent enough spinner. He'll do very well to do enough work to keep his spot as a batsman let alone consider spin bowling training. He has the ability to bowl a jaffer every now and then, but generally throws them all over the place. I'd just prefer it if he concentrated on scoring runs consistantly first and foremost. When he's doing that, then he can spare some time to further develop his spin bowling. On top of which, I also think Lyon will play his part in this series, as he has done in most series he's played in...

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2014, 16:30 GMT

    great news, my australian squad for the first test=1)D warner 2)C Rogers 3)S Watson 4)P Hughes 5)M Clarke{c} 6)S Smith 7) B Haddin{wk} 8)M Johnson 9)J Pattinson 10)P Siddle 11)R Harris.

    and steve smith as only spin bowler with 4 pacers.

  • Scott on January 30, 2014, 14:36 GMT

    @Mitty2, nor I! Have no fear, I can assure you, that unless Siddle is injured prior to the first test, he'll be in the side. Bird will be next off the rank as he looks like he's returned from injury much better than Pattinson has, however, I still think he should be around the squad as I've got no doubt that he'll be in the starting XI soon enough.

    @Lving_It, agree with your batting line up and that's the correct order too. With Hughes now on the tour, a few warm up matches may decide who will start at 6. Those wanting to swap Doolan at 3 for Watson should understand that Watson has a better average at #3 for Aus at test level than Doolan does at shield level. Swapping the 2 is potentially the dumbest idea I've heard. If Doolan wants to prove he can cut it, #6 is a good place to start...

  • Hamish on January 30, 2014, 12:56 GMT

    @living_it, ah that's such a common view, right now Patto's by far in the worst form out of all the quicks selected. This coming from a Vic. Bird's the next in.

    Really don't get all the marginalising of Siddle - again was the one to take crucial, partnership breaking wickets whenever there were some in the Ashes and was amazing with his control, economy and ability to keep the pressure on. He's also a very intelligent bowler - he's completely figured out KP and he gets Prior out with ease. His career stats push him ahead of every single one of England's test bowlers - on average, economy and strike rate. I have some weird addiction to Jackson Bird and have always wanted him above other Aussie quicks - it's something about his action, I can't describe it - but even now I have to admit he has no right to take Siddle's place.

  • Peter on January 30, 2014, 9:31 GMT

    @Living_It: agree but I would swap Watto with Doolan

  • Michael on January 30, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    Good news i rate Him and Pattinson above Siddle. For South Africa conditions i would pick bird

    1 Warner 2 Rogers 3 Watson 4 Clarke 5 Smith 6 Doolan (not a huge fan, but have to accept it) 7 Haddin 8 Johnson 9 Harris 10 Lyon 11 Bird

  • Karthik on January 30, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    Great news! His bowling is quite similar to another underrated Aussie bowler - Stuart Clark. And Clark had his best bowling performances in SA! I do hope he gets to play a game though, maybe Sid needs a rest after the 1st test?

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2014, 5:36 GMT

    Great news that he is fit

  • Peter on January 30, 2014, 5:21 GMT

    Good news - a most underrated bowler. He is a "nice type" as Jack Dyer used to say

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