Tasmanian Tigers fast bowler Jackson Bird says he’s looking forward to linking up with Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in Brisbane as Australia prepares to name its squad for the first Ashes Test.
Bird will miss Tasmania’s Sheffield Shield clash against Victoria starting on Monday and will instead travel to Brisbane for a fast-bowlers camp.
He told media this morning that he hadn’t been given too much information about what the Australian coaching staff had in store for the four quicks.
“It’s good to be a part of the four bowlers going up to Brisbane next week. It will be a good chance to get back around the boys and get some training in,” Bird said.
“I got a text from Darren Lehmann the other night saying I wasn’t playing the Shield game I was going to Brisbane instead and that’s about the extent of the communication I’ve had.”
“I guess the selectors are keeping their cards pretty close to their chest at the moment but we’ll find out in a few days.”
Bird has been one of the form bowlers of the Sheffield Shield competition this season, taking ten wickets from two matches to sit equal-third on the overall wicket-takers list.
Bird said knowing he is in the mix to make the Australian squad put his mind at ease.
“It’s good for my mental state more than anything. Thinking about it is in the back of your mind all the time so to get that out of the back of your head is probably the best thing,” he said.
The 30-year-old said while he would love to be part of Australia’s bowling attack for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane, he sees himself as the reserve quick behind Starc, Cummins and Hazlewood.
“Those guys are three of the best fast-bowlers in the world when they’re up and running, so the tricky thing is being the reserve quick you have to prepare as if you’re going to play just in case anything does go wrong,” he said.
“I’m under no illusions as to where I sit in that pecking order, but I’ll be ready to go if one of those guys gets injured.”
Tasmania named their Sheffield Shield squad to take on Victoria yesterday, bringing in James Faulkner and Riley Meredith for Bird and Andrew Fekete.