Harmison says Durham ground `tailor-made` for Oz pacer Bird
Melbourne: Former England fast bowler Steve Harmison has said that the Durham ground is `tailor-made` for Australian seam bowler Jackson Bird, adding that if Bird is going to play anywhere in this Ashes series it should be at the site of the fourth Test.
According to the Age, Bird was named in a 12-man squad for the penultimate leg of the series, starting on Friday at Chester-le-Street, leaving him on the cusp of his third Test appearance and first since Sydney in January.
Believing that Durham ground is tailor-made for Bird, Harmison, a veteran of 63 Tests for England and 15 years with Durham, said that he thinks that this fact will have been stressed to selectors by his former teammate Australian batting coach Michael Di Venuto.
Harmison, who is enjoying his benefit season with Durham, also said that if a bowler can put the ball in the right area in Durham then he would be rewarded, adding that Di Venuto would put the idea into the selectors` minds that Bird would be ideal for Durham if he attacks the stumps and make cricketers play on the front foot on the ground.
Although Harmison admitted that there would not be a large amount of pace in the ground, it however, will serve bowlers well if they hit the top of the stumps at Durham, which, he added, seems to be the lengths that they have been practising.
According to Harmison, the ball will offer enough movement even though it would be very slow and docile at Durham, if the bowlers pitch it up and attack off stump, adding that he believes that Bird has similar attributes to Durham`s Graham Onions, the recalled England seamer who has enjoyed great success at the ground.
Australia squad for Durham: Michael Clarke (c), Brad Haddin (vc), Bird, Ryan Harris, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Shane Watson.