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Jackson Bird takes shot at Test limelight

AAP logoAAP 26/12/2016 Roger Vaughan

Jackson Bird admits it has been no fun being on the fringe of the Australian Test cricket team.

On Monday, the Tasmanian put himself front and centre.

Bird took the key wickets of Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq and fellow veteran Younis Khan after lunch on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test.

Pakistan ground to 4-142 before persistent rain meant the last session had to be abandoned.

Bird does not feel he has a point to prove, despite his selection struggles.

But he concedes the last few weeks have been much more enjoyable.

Bird has now taken 11 wickets in three Tests since being recalled against South Africa in Adelaide.

"It's disappointing when your name doesn't get read out, when you feel like you're in and around the team," he said.

"But I feel like I've been bowling pretty well and contributing at good times for the team now, which is pleasing for myself.

"It's been good fun the last couple of weeks, I'm really enjoying it."

Former chairman of selectors Rod Marsh curiously said before the first Test against South Africa that Bird had missed out on a berth because of his batting.

Then earlier this month, Australian coach Darren Lehmann spoke of his excitement about one day having a four-man pace attack - only his dream quartet did not feature Bird.

Instead Lehmann admitted to being excited about a future Australian Test attack of Patrick Cummins, Mitch Starc, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson.

On Monday Bird combined well with Starc and Hazlewood, dispelling concerns they might struggle to come up after their heavy workload in the first Test at the Gabba.

"There's definitely enough in the wicket if you're bowling in the right areas," Bird said.

"With the rain we've just had, it probably juiced the wicket up a little bit, so it was disappointing to go off when we did.

"All the guys have pulled up pretty well. We've had a cruisy sort of lead-up to the game.

"We had a fair bit of rest and didn't bowl too many overs, so we were all ready to go this morning. We bowled pretty well as a group."

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