Hampshire: Jackson Bird backed to soar if selected at Hove

Hampshire's overseas player Jackson Bird

Hampshire's overseas player Jackson Bird

Chris Stone

Havant relish quest for double joy

  • Dale Benkenstein could ring the changes against Sussex
  • Owais Shah backs Australia paceman to shrug off costly Blast debut
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Jackson Bird has been tipped to bounce back from a tough debut to star for Hampshire over the remainder of the season.

The Australia seam bowler made his long-awaited bow against Middlesex on Thursday night.

He will draw on all his experience and I am sure he will be strong in the coming weeks for Hampshire

Owais Shah

A shoulder injury had robbed the county of Bird’s services until he returned figures of none for 26 from two overs in the NatWest T20 Blast clash at the Ageas Bowl.

While Hampshire cruised to victory in the south group match, it was hardly a dream debut for the Tasmania paceman.

Attentions now turn back to the County Championship – with a division one derby against Sussex at Hove starting tomorrow.

A dismal display against Worcestershire this week prompted first-team coach Dale Benkenstein to consider changes to his line-up.

And Owais Shah reckons Bird will not let Hampshire down if called upon.

‘It has been quite tough for Jackson’ said Shah.

‘Obviously he has been injured and then came in against Middlesex and took a bit of tap actually.

‘That is unfortunate but that is twenty20 cricket.

‘A couple of the guys playing for Middlesex, people like (Dawid) Malan, are in very good touch.

‘But Jackson has played enough cricket to know what he has to do to get up for the next game.

‘And I am sure he will be back.

‘He has played too much cricket to worry about a one-off game like that.

‘It is always tough coming back from injury.

‘But he will draw on all his experience and I am sure he will be strong in the coming weeks for Hampshire.’

Talented young South African fast bowler Brad Wheal would be most likely to miss out if Benkenstein opts to hand Bird his County Championship debut.

Bird, 28, has taken 133 wickets at 22.21 in 31 first-class matches Down Under.

Hampshire currently prop up the division one table.

Sussex claimed a 92-run victory over their south-coast neighbours in the opening clash of the season at the Ageas Bowl.

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