Oz quick Bird hopes daunting record at MCG would help earn first baggy green

Sydney: Australia fast bowler Jackson hopes his overwhelming record at the Melbourne Cricket Ground will help him earn a Boxing Day debut ahead of left-arm pace man Mitchell Johnson.

Bird, who moved from NSW to Tasmania two years ago because Pat Cummins and Trent Copeland were blocking his path to state selection, was elevated to the Test squad for the injured Ben Hilfenhaus and will duel with Johnson to face Sri Lanka on Boxing Day.

The right-arm quick believes his hopes hinge on whether the selectors want a like-for-like replacement for Hilfenhaus or are happy to deploy two left-arm pace men, Johnson and Mitchell Starc, against Sri Lanka.

“Ben is more of a swing bowler where I tend to hit the wicket a bit more. It depends what the selectors want to do in terms of playing two left-armers or one left-armer so I guess it will be the best eleven players on the day and if I get the chance hopefully I can repay the faith the selectors have shown in me,” the Age quoted Bird, as saying.

“I certainly don`t bowl as fast as Mitchell Johnson does. Mitch is a great bowler and I suppose whoever gets the nod between me and him will hopefully do a good job,” he added.

Bird has claimed 87 wickets in his first 17 first-class games and grasped a match haul of 10-96 at the MCG last summer, and he took another four wickets against Victoria last month.

“The MCG is a great place to play, there`s always a little bit in the wicket for the fast bowlers and I do enjoy playing here.

I`ve been in communication with the selectors for the last couple of Test matches and unfortunately when Ben went down I thought I might be a chance,” Bird said.

“It would be a pretty amazing dream to debut on Boxing Day at the MCG so I`m looking forward to it if I get the chance,” he added.