Doug Bollinger back to 100% fitness
Doug Bollinger declared himself fully fit after bowling in the SCG nets on Thursday and he will continue his comeback in club cricket on the weekend. Bollinger is aiming to prove himself ready for the first Ashes Test at the Gabba starting on November 25, after he suffered a stomach injury in the Mohali Test last month.
Bollinger will be joined on the grade scene by Simon Katich, who the Australians hope will have recovered from a fractured thumb in time for the Ashes opener. Both men are planning to play for New South Wales in next week's Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania, which will be their only chance to impress before the Test.
"I'm 100% mate, 100%," Bollinger told reporters after his net session. "Feeling good, 100 per cent everything. All of the above." He bowled a scorching spell to his state team-mate Moises Henriques, who is also out injured, and was so happy with his aggression that at one point he asked Henriques if he'd like to change his underwear.
It was a good sign for the selectors, who will on Monday choose the squad for the first Test. The attack is likely to be made up of Bollinger, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Hauritz, although Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle are also in contention, while Peter George performed well on Thursday against the England XI in Adelaide.
There were also encouraging words from Katich, who played both the Tests in India in October with a broken thumb because he believed it was only bruised. Should he be unavailable, the selectors would likely make a straight swap for his New South Wales team-mate Phillip Hughes, but Katich is confident of being fit.
"The thumb is feeling good," Katich told the Australian. "I saw the hand specialist yesterday. It's coming along nicely. It feels a lot better than it was."