Bird locks up final pace spot
JACKSON Bird appears to have beaten off the challengers for a place in Australia's first Test squad as the fast bowling brigade were placed on ice for Brisbane.
Bird, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood will be rested from next week's Sheffield Shield round and sent to Brisbane where they will train as a unit at the National Cricket Centre before the November 23 Ashes opener.
Starc and Cummins were always likely to be spared from the NSW-Queensland match at Allan Border Field but Hazlewood has joined them after bowling splendidly against Western Australia over the weekend.
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Though Starc got two hat-tricks against WA Hazlewood's work was just as impressive and he feels right to go for the first Test.
Starc, Cummins and Hazlewood are certain to be Australia's first Test attack and in time and without injury disruption may be regarded as one of the finest trio's ever assembled by Australia.
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Bird appears set to be 12th man and that position could be reviewed for the second Test in Adelaide where swingman Chad Sayers could come into consideration in the pink ball Test on his home ground.
The resting of Australia's first choice pace trio from the Sheffield Shield match could be good news for Australian batsmen Matt Renshaw and Usman Khawaja as they ready themselves for the Gabba.