8 Aug 2013

New Aussie quick set for test debut

9:16 am on 8 August 2013

The Australian fast bowler Jackson Bird is firmly in contention to make his Ashes debut in the fourth cricket test, after being included in Australia's 12-man squad for the match in Durham.

The 26-year-old Bird is expected to be well suited to the seaming conditions at Chester-le-Street, with his nagging line and length and ability to move the ball off the seam.

The injury-prone fast bowler Ryan Harris is attempting to get through three straight tests for the first time in his career, but Australia say the 33-year-old veteran will play if fit.

The teenage spinner Ashton Agar has been left out of the squad, meaning Nathan Lyon is set to play his second successive test - unless Australia go with four seam bowlers.

Australia are determined to win the final two matches and draw the series.