Bollinger `must improve fitness` to make it to Test squad: Hilditch

Sydney: The chairman of the Australian cricket selection committee, Andrew Hilditch, has said that New South Wales left-arm fast bowler Doug Bollinger has to improve his fitness and endurance to be considered for Test selection.

Bollinger, who turned 30 last week, is part of the Australian squad for the one-day series in Sri Lanka. He has not been selected for the three Tests that follow because selectors are unimpressed with his general level of fitness.

They have instead plumped for Trent Copeland, an uncontracted 25-year-old from New South Wales who lacks the venom of Bollinger but is spindly and can bowl for extended periods.

"It was a difficult season for Doug in lots of respects. He obviously broke down in India in a Test match. He then, we thought, was a bit not quite ready for Test-match cricket in Adelaide and wasn`t quite ready to bowl at full intensity for a whole Test match . . . and then had the [foot] injury which brought him home from the World Cup," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Hilditch, as saying.

"He`s a very talented bowler and we think he can still get back to playing Test cricket. But we need to be satisfied that he can do so at full intensity. That`s just critical at the moment because we`re playing in an era where back-to-back Test matches are virtually inevitable," he added.

Hilditch also suggested that all-rounder Steve Smith, who made an unbeaten half-century against England in his last innings, needed to improve his batting and leg-spin bowling.

"We really made an assessment and as I spoke to Steve about that, we didn`t think he`d cemented a spot in the top six batters and we didn`t think he`d cemented a spot as a spinner," Hilditch said.


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