Calcutta/ London: Pacer Jackson Bird was on Wednesday named in the 12-member Australia squad for the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street, starting on Friday. Bird is seen a cover for injury-prone Ryan Harris.
After Australia’s strong showing in Manchester, the selectors would be keen to retain the same side. Bird is the only inclusion in the 12 for Chester-le-Street from outside the 11 who played at Old Trafford, meaning there will be no recall for Ashton Agar, while other squad members including James Faulkner, Phillip Hughes, Ed Cowan and Matthew Wade have also missed out as expected.
Meanwhile, Shane Watson admitted on Wednesday that he had suffered a “really disappointing” Ashes series and accepted his days of opening for his country were numbered.
Watson has failed to score a 50 so far against England after being moved up the order to open with Chris Rogers. He was replaced by David Warner for the second innings in the drawn third Test at Old Trafford when England retained the Ashes.
“From my personal perspective, it’s been a really disappointing three test matches so far,” the 32-year-old all-rounder said.
“To be able to get the starts and get things going and then not to be able to capitalise on that has been extremely annoying.
“I certainly do love opening the batting in all forms of the game. But even in the second innings (of the Old Trafford Test) I absolutely do understand the thought process behind it (the move down to number four),” he told a website.
“I also haven’t scored the runs as an opener... to be able to continue to feel like I’m doing a competent job at the top of the order.”