The Ashes: Jackson Bird ready to 'do the job' for Australia in third Test
Jackson Bird who switched from New South Wales to Tasmania for first-class cricket, had a great debut season in 2011-12. Not only did he collect 53 wickets at 16, he was also named the Sheffield Shield Player of the Year. In 21 first-class matches to date, he has amassed 105 wickets at 19.78.
Jackson Bird is always amongst the wickets as he has proven in his short cricket career till now. That though, has resulted in just the two Test matches for Australia where again he has impressed with 11 wickets at 16.18. He took two more in 14 miserly overs as Australians restricted Sussex to 228/5 on the second day of the tune up to the third Ashes Test.
For Bird though, playing for Australia is the priority but he has no qualms over others like Ryan Harris getting their chances. Talking to the media after Day 2 proceedings, Bird said that players have to be ready to play always.
"They went with Ryan and he did very well," Bird said. "It was probably the right selection. I'm not bitter or anything like that. Ryan is a world-class bowler and he showed that at Lord's. But if you're in the squad you definitely have a chance and you have to prepare before each Test match as if you're going to play.
"I feel like I've been bowling pretty well the last couple of weeks. I've been bowling well in the nets and I feel like I'm pretty close to being at 100%. And I suppose if selected next week in Manchester, I feel like I'm ready to do a good job but that's still a week or so away and we've still got a day of cricket to concentrate on."
The 26-year old who switched from New South Wales to Tasmania for first-class cricket, had a great debut season in 2011-12. Not only did he collect 53 wickets at 16, he was also named the Sheffield Shield Player of the Year. In 21 first-class matches to date, he has amassed 105 wickets at 19.78.
"I suppose there is always the motivation if you're outside the squad to do well, to make the final XI, but I can't control selection. It's not something that I think about all the time. All I can control is taking wickets for Australia and I took a couple today but there's still a bit of work to do tomorrow."
Bird, who came to England with the Australia A squad in 2012, admits that he erred in judgement of the conditions back then. He is much mature now and hopes to test himself at the highest level.
"I was probably a bit impatient when I came here last year," Bird said. "Everyone talks about how much the Dukes ball moves around and when I got here last year it didn't really do that. I was trying to swing the ball too much and trying to get too much sideways movement. When the wickets are flat over here the English batters punish bad bowling.
"I just came over here this year knowing that I had to really be diligent on my lines and lengths, especially when the sun is out I really have to build pressure. I feel like I've done that. And when it is cloudy and the conditions suit you, not to get too carried away. You've still got to hit your lines and lengths and that's probably the main thing I've noticed."
With injury concerns prior to the Ashes, Bird also considers himself lucky to be playing and wants to make the most of the chances he gets.
"I didn't think I was going to be fit enough in time for the tour," he said. "It's a bonus being here on the Ashes tour and if I play well it's just a bonus. I am definitely enjoying being over here."