`Flying` Bird in contention for Durham Test as Oz bids to draw Ashes

Sydney: Australian seam bowler Jackson Bird may reportedly feature in the fourth Ashes Test at Durham, where the tourists will begin their readjusted mission to draw the series in England and render the hosts` retention of the urn as hollow as possible.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Bird, recording 11 Test wickets at an average of 16.18, is yet to play in this series despite displaying obvious signs in Australia`s tour matches that his penchant for accuracy and attrition would be an ideal fit with English conditions.

Although Bird was flown home from the India tour after suffering a back injury he feared would rule him out of the Ashes, the report said that the Tasmania seamer claimed four wickets at Worcester and then two at Sussex in two appearances on the Australian tour, in a performance that was better than the figures suggested.

Stating that they would need to pick the best XI given that it is a Test match, Australian coach Darren Lehmann said that Bird has a chance to play if he is in the squad for the Durham Test, adding that main thing was for Australia to back up their performance at Old Trafford.

The report said that the Bird factor means that the selectors had originally not expected Ryan Harris to back up for a third match in a row, although he is automatically not ruled out as he bowled seven overs in the washout on Monday.

Stating that would need to check Harris` fitness during training before putting him up for contention for Durham, Lehmann also praised his team, saying that they have been outstanding and put England under pressure, adding that Australia would have won the match if not for the rain.


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