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Bird eyes impressing in BBL for India tour

AAP logoAAP 8/01/2017 Scott Bailey

Australian seamer Jackson Bird will have one eye on winning a ticket to India when he returns for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League on Monday night.

Bird and Test spinners Nathan Lyon and Steve O'Keefe have been named in the Sixers' squad to take on the Renegades at the SCG.

And while Lyon and O'Keefe are all but assured of spots in the Test squad for India given Australia's desire to play multiple spinners, Bird is not so sure of what his plans for February and March will be.

"You can't really look too far ahead with selections," he said.

"India's going to be a tough tour and there are obviously going to be a lot of spinners bowling for us.

"I suppose there will be a third-seamer role on the tour but I'm not really sure yet. Hopefully I do get the nod but we'll see how we go."

Bird was a mainstay of the Australian attack alongside Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood this summer, taking 13 wickets in three Tests before he made way for Lyon and O'Keefe on the dryer Sydney track.

Along with the likelihood of duelling with extra spinners while on the tour, fellow-quicks Pat Cummins and James Pattinson are both returning to full fitness and could challenge for spots when the touring party is named.

And given there are no more Sheffield Shield matches between now and that point, Bird is eying the unconventional path of the Big Bash League to plead his case.

"Every time you play cricket it's a chance to impress the selectors," he said.

"Hopefully I can contribute to winning games for the Sixers."

Monday night's clash is a key one for both Bird's Sixers and the Renegades.

Both teams have two wins, with the Sixers having played five of their eight games, one more than the Renegades.

While the Sixers have been boosted by the return of the three Test players, the Renegades have named Sri Lankan quick Thisara Perera for his BBL debut, after he was called in as a replacement for the injured Dwayne Bravo.

They have also put the broom through the squad after Saturday night's 46-run thumping at the hands of the Melbourne Stars, dropping batsman Marcus Harris and quick Trent Lawford.

Nathan Rimmington has also been left out of the 13-man squad, with Tom Beaton and former Australian spinner Xavier Doherty called up.

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