Injury free Bollinger ready to fight for Ashes spot
Sydney: New South Wales and Australian left-arm quick Doug Bollinger has said that he is ready to fight for his Ashes spot.
With scans having cleared him of serious injury, Bollinger is expected to prove his fitness for the Ashes in a Sheffield Shield match for New South Wales next month.
Bollinger and Mike Hussey, who is battling to save his Test career, were both forced to play for their IPL team Chennai Super Kings in the Champions League Twenty20 extravaganza in South Africa in September instead of preparing for the two-Test series in India.
That lack of preparation was blamed for Bollinger breaking down during the first Test in Mohali, which Australia lost by one wicket after the last two batsmen contributed 80.
Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said Bollinger was on track to play the first Test against England, beginning in Brisbane on November 25.
“Doug Bollinger returned from India with a stomach muscle strain. He did not recover in time to be available for the one-day series in India and, on returning to Australia, he had scans that have cleared him of any significant muscle injury,” Kountouris said.
He added: “He will commence bowling next week and is likely to be available for selection in the Sheffield Shield game for NSW against Tasmania starting on November 17.”
Kountouris said Queensland fast bowler Ryan Harris, who had major knee surgery in July after a breakthrough summer for Australia, was also on track to play in the Sheffield Shield before the first Test.
“As long as there are no setbacks during this period, he will be available for selection for the Sheffield Shield game for Queensland starting on either November 10 or 17,” Kountouris said.
However, opener and NSW captain Simon Katich will miss the Blues next Sheffield Shield match, against Queensland at the Gabba, because of ligament damage to a thumb in India that hindered him in both Tests.
Scans on his return to Australia highlighted an avulsion fracture, where the ligament had pulled some of the bone away.