Bird aiming to impress and regain Test spot

Australia

Australia fast bowler Jackson Bird has rarely been fit for the start of the domestic season, and hasn't played for Australia in two years, but hopes this new action will allow his back to hold up this season.

Bird has suffered a series of lower back injuries over the years, and even considered retiring in 2014 at the age of 27, but a shortened run up has given him a new lease on life, and he hopes to impress with Tasmania enough to regain his national spot.

Bird said on the CA website: "I've never lost confidence in my own ability. I still think, if selected, I can offer something in Test or one-day cricket.

"The only thing I lost confidence in was my body. I didn't have confidence in my back holding up over long periods of time, and I suppose it’s tough to bowl at your best when you feel like in the back of your mind you could get injured at any point.

"So now that I've got that confidence back in my body, I feel like that sort of flows into my performance on the field, in terms of bowling.

"But if I'm honest with myself, over the last 12 months I haven't probably bowled well enough to warrant being picked for Australia. So that’s something I need to improve and something I'm definitely capable of doing."

As for the Matador One-Day Cup on the horizon, Bird is confident his new action will reap rewards, both for him and his team, who won only two matches in the tournament last season. He last played in this even in 2012/13.

The paceman added: "I'm looking forward to it – it’s the first time in a couple of years that I've started off a season 100 per cent.

"That’s exciting for me. I can't wait to play some white-ball cricket and I feel like the ball’s coming out really well.

"Last year I did a lot of technique work with (Tasmania coach) Damien Wright and (Australia fast-bowling coach) Craig McDermott just to fix a few things with my action and lower my counter-rotation numbers.

"I did that quite easily, and I’ve had about 12 months now bowling with a tweaked action. Over this pre-season I've shortened my run-up as well, which I should've done years ago.

"I’ve lopped off about 10 metres from my run-up so that’s allowing me to get through the crease a bit better and is shortening my delivery stride a little bit, which helps me be consistent with my pace and with hitting the wicket.

"That’s something that’s worked really well in the pre-season so I'm looking forward to bringing that out in the game as well."

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