Cricket Australia

http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/news/2013/1/3/bird-shrugs-off-mcgrath-comparisons

Bird shrugs off McGrath comparisons

UPDATED 04 January, 2013 7:50PM AEST | by Carly Adno, Omnisport 1

Australia paceman Jackson Bird has talked down comparisons with former great Glenn McGrath, after the Tasmanian dominated day one of the third Test with Sri Lanka in Sydney.

Bird, playing in just his second Test, ended the day with figures of 4-41, as the tourists were bowled out for 294.

His performance has likened comparisons to New South Welshman McGrath, but Bird was humbled by such talk.

"It's always nice to get comparisons to one of the greats of the game," Bird said.

"It's only my second Test match and McGrath took 500 wickets.

"I've got a lot of hard work to do before I can even get close to Glenn, but it's always nice to hear comparisons like that."

Bird was expected to be left out of the team for the series dead rubber, but the selectors opted for a four-pronged paced attack after having a look at the greener than usual SCG pitch.

The 26-year-old enjoyed sharing the workload with the other quicks in Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson.

"Pushing up into that breeze was tough work," Bird said.

"It's pretty hot out there as well, so short spells was definitely good, didn't cook me and I got to bowl at the end and get a couple of late wickets."

Bird wasn't happy with how they bowled in the morning session, but said a talk at lunch time helped them bowl in the right areas and get the most of out of the pitch.

"We probably bowled the right length towards the end of the day when there wasn't much movement," he said.

"In the morning we didn't utilise conditions as much as we should have.

"(We were) a little bit short with the new ball and probably weren't patient enough.

"I thought in the second session we were pretty good.

"Towards the end of the session we built up a bit of pressure and then the last session we built up that pressure and got the wickets."

Australia will look to take advantage of what Bird reckons is now a 'beautiful batting wicket' when they begin their first innings with the bat on Friday morning.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 03 January, 2013 10:16PM AEST

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