Jackson Bird replaces James Pattinson for Bangladesh tour
What's the story?
Jackson Bird will take the place of James Pattinson in the Australian squad that is set to travel to Bangladesh this month. Pattinson was recently ruled out of the series due to a back inflammation.
This is the first series that Australian cricketers will play after the resolution of their long-drawn out pay dispute with Cricket Australia.
However, they have already lost two of their frontline pacers with Pattinson missing out and Mitchell Starc unable to recover from his foot injury. He was replaced by Mitchell Swepson.
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The Australia tour of Bangladesh will consist of two Test matches that will be preceded by a warm-up game, which is scheduled for August 22 and 23.
It is an important series not only because it brings Australia's focus back to cricket but also as it leads up to the Ashes series, which is scheduled for later this year.
Bird's last Test was the match at MCG against Pakistan in December last year. As far as Pattinson's withdrawal from the squad goes, a CA spokesperson revealed that the move was a precautionary measure meant to ensure the pacer's full recovery for the Ashes.
Here's the entire Australian squad for the tour: Steven Smith (captain), David Warner (vice-captain), Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade (wicket-keeper), Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson, Jackson Bird.
This is a good opportunity for Bird to build upon his still-nascent international career and make a lasting impression on the national selectors. The 30-year-old has played just eight Test matches and has not made his ODI or T20I debut yet.
Bird, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood will form the Australian pace attack for the Bangladesh tour.
Bangladesh cricket has been on the rise for the past couple of years and the apprehensive Australian side cannot take this tour for granted. They need to leave the remuneration dispute behind them and concentrate on the cricket to be played over the remainder of this season.
The Ashes promises to be as intense as ever and Smith needs to ensure that his men are ready for the English onslaught.
As far as Bird's selection goes, this is a chance for him to find a place in the Ashes squad. Pattinson and Starc will both be back then and the man from Sydney will need to fight for his place in the playing XI.