Thursday 3 January 2013 

Bird Plays Down Comparisons With Glenn McGrath

Bird Plays Down Comparisons With Glenn McGrath
Bird Plays Down Comparisons With Glenn McGrath
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Jackson Bird returned figures of four for 41 as Australia bowled Sri Lanka out for 294 on the opening day of the third and final Test in Sydney.

Bird, who made his debut in the second Test, which Australia won by an innings in Melbourne, has made enough ot an impression for some to compare him with Glenn McGrath.

He is quick to play down such comments, however, saying, "It's always nice to get comparisons to one of the greats of the game. It's only my second test match and McGrath took 500 wickets so I've got a lot of hard work before I get even close to Glenn but it's always nice to hear comparisons like that."

Australia can be pleased with their day's work in dismissing Sri Lanka in 87.4 overs but they were made to work hard for their wickets as Mahela Jayawardene and Lahiru Thirimanne both scored half-centuries.

"It's nice to get a few wickets out of the way really," Bird said. "It was tough work out there but we stuck at it pretty well towards the end of the day and were lucky to get the rewards at the end of the session.

"At lunch we had a bit of a chat and spoke about how we probably bowled two sides of the wicket, a little bit short with the new ball and probably weren't patient enough. 

"I thought we were pretty good in the second session, towards the end and built up a little pressure. In the last session we were good and used that pressure and got the wickets."

bet365 make Bird 500/1 to top score in Australia's innings.

With Australia picking four pace bowlers - Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson lining up alongside Bird - captain Michael Clarke was able to rotate his bowlers by allowing them shorter spells, something which Bird appreciated in testing conditions.

"Pushing into that breeze was tough work and it was pretty hot out there as well. Short spells were definitely good didn't cook me and I got to bowl at the end and get a couple of late wickets.

"I think if you bash the wicket you get a little more out of it. We bowled the right length towards the end of the day when there wasn't as much movement. In the morning we probably didn't utilise the conditions as much as we should have."

As Bird begins his international career, batsman Michael Hussey is playing his final Test and marked the first day of his last appearance with three catches - two off Bird's bowling - and a couple of overs of tidy medium pace.

"The crowd were getting behind Hussey in his last Test match," Bird said. "He has a good set of hands and bowled a couple of good dry overs in the middle there as well. 

Ominously for Sri Lanka, Bird expects more from the left-hander: "I wouldn't be suprised if he came out and hit 100 in the first or second innings. He's a champion, it's sad to see him play his last Test match," he added.

Australia lead the series 2-0 and are chasing a 3-0 series clean sweep as they begin a big year for them which includes tours of both India and England in the first leg of back-to-back Ashes series.

© Cricket World 2013

Open an account with bet365 today and qualify for up to £200 in free bets with our fantastic 100% Deposit Bonus.