Bollinger redeemed in selectors` eyes
Sydney: Australian fast bowler Doug Bollinger has reportedly earned his redemption in the eyes of the selectors after his retention in the Test squad for the second consecutive Ashes Test, although he would play on Boxing Day only if Ryan Harris` temperamental knee worsens.
Bollinger`s stocks fell during the preceding home Ashes series in 2010-11, when he laboured his way to 1-130 from 29 overs in hot conditions in Adelaide, with former chief Australian selector Andrew Hilditch admitting that Bollinger`s exclusion from the squad was because he had lost the confidence of selectors.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the only time Bollinger earned selection was for a three-day tour match against India in late 2011 and last season, he received a significant financial blow when his IPL team Chennai Super Kings released him from his annual 700,000-dollar contract.
However, without an overseas playing deal, Bollinger demonstrated a marked improvement in his pre-season training regimen in Australia, so much so that it gained the attention of Cricket Australia`s ( CA) on-field hierarchy, with the bowler saying that he ran and cut down on beer during those months.
The report mentioned that the benefit of that punishing routine was demonstrated in New South Wales`s opening Sheffield Shield match of the season, with his season record of 17 wickets at an average of 25.18 from his four matches was enough to get him elevated to a standby player in Perth.
Proof of Bollinger`s improved endurance is that he has bowled at least 14 overs in a day on six occasions for NSW this season and while Mitch Johnson, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle remain in front of Bollinger, his performances with the ball have eased selectors` doubts about his readiness for a recall, the report added.