Sport

Bollinger plans to bowl his way back into Aus cricket team

WHILE Mitch Starc put his hand up for selection in the second Test, his New South Wales teammate Doug Bollinger is determined to eventually force his way back into the Australian team.

The 31-year-old is the forgotten man of the Aussie pace attack, having not played a Test since December 2010 when he succumbed to form and injury issues.

A serious hamstring tear kept the left-armer sidelined for most of last season, but he says he has returned to full fitness in 2012-13 with the NSW Blues, and he is keen to add to the 12 Tests he has played.

"I'm fit, I'm strong and I'm bowling really well, I just need a little bit of luck and that's all it is," Bollinger told media yesterday ahead of the Blues' Ryobi Cup clash with Queensland at the Gabba today.

"I feel the fittest I've been for a long, long time and I'm just really enjoying cricket at the moment."

Boasting an impressive record, Bollinger has so far taken 50 wickets at 25.92 apiece in Tests and 62 scalps at 23.90 in 39 one-day internationals.

"I think I'm bowling just as well as I was when I was in the Test team," he said.

"I'm confident, I'm swinging both the new and old ball, I'm running in hard and bowling fast and I'm just keeping it as simple as that.

"I'd love to be going down (to Adelaide) and playing for Australia, (but) the WACA's coming up which is made for left-handers so I've just got to keep trying to bowl well and you never know."

Australia has taken four fast bowlers to Adelaide for the second Test against South Africa starting tomorrow, with another left-armer, Starc, hoping to edge out Ben Hilfenhaus for a spot in the final XI alongside James Pattinson and Peter Siddle and spinner Nathan Lyon.

Hilfenhaus claimed 2/99 in the first Test and is under pressure to perform.

"If I am picked I am ready to go, ready to do my job for the team so if the selectors see that as well, I am ready to go to put on that baggy green," Starc said.

Ricky Ponting, meanwhile, has poured cold water on the inclusion of a less than fully fit Shane Watson, who is recovering from a calf injury and confirmed this week he would not be able to bowl if selected.

"No-one can go into a Test match 70% fit, I don't care if you're a batsman and a slips fielder, if you can't bat at 100% then you're putting pressure on other blokes," Ponting said.

Topics:  australia, cricket, south africa


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