Australia fast bowler Jackson Bird's impressive start to his Test career may have cost experienced swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus his spot in the squad for next year's Ashes.
Bird picked up early wickets in the first innings of the Sydney Test against Sri Lanka, and this is what Hilfenhaus struggled to do before he broke down with a side strain, ruling him out for the remainder of the Test summer, News.com.au reports.
Of the seven scalps Hilfenhaus picked up at the Gabba, Adelaide and then Hobart, only three were recognised batsmen.
Bird, on the other hand, wasted no time making a name for himself on debut when he almost immediately removed Sri Lankan opener Dimuth Karunaratne in the Boxing Day Test., and it was not long after he had Thilan Samaraweera.
It was the same story yesterday when Forestville-raised Bird returned to Sydney to play at his spritual SCG and bag four wickets.
Looking like a young Glenn McGrath with his similar height and action, Bird needed half an hour to again send Karunaratne packing.
Bird returned to get Tillakarante Dilshan (34) when he edge one to wicketkeeper Matthew Wade.
Bird waited until the final session to remove Rangana Herath (5) and Suranga Lakmal (5) to finish with 4-41 off 19.4 overs. Ten maidens were included in the wonderful hit-out.
Hilfenhaus was one of Australia's best bowlers last summer, but for the second time in three seasons lost his late swing, which made him such a dangerous bowler against India last summer.
Now, Bird has every is every chance of getting the nod for India next month and the Ashes ahead of his struggling Tasmanian teammate Hilfenhaus, who could be anchored on 99 Test scalps for quite some time. (ANI)