Jackson Bird was taken to New Zealand as a back-up seamer earlier this year. Because of injuries, he got the call up, and he took a five wicket innings in the final Test. He then was taken to Sri Lanka, where he did not get a game on the spin friendly wickets.
In the Shield match currently taking place, he took 3/75 off 30 overs and 3/59 off 14 overs against Victoria. He is a specialist bowler who bats down the order, so his runs are not valid.
Well, apparently now they are. Because the reason that Rod Marsh has given Jackson Bird for his omission from the Test squad in favour of the uncapped Joe Mennie is because his batting is better than Bird's, and the bottom order has to contribute runs as well as take wickets.
This is the biggest and most vile heap of bullshit I have ever heard in regards to picking a player for any team ever.
How many of the top six are contributing wickets to the bowlers cause in the Test team? Answer - none.
Moreso than this, how many RUNS are Mitch Marsh and Peter Nevill contributing to the cause at the moment? Answer - none.
The bowlers job is to take wickets. The batsmen's job is to score runs. Should the bowlers get some runs, that's a bonus, just like it is when a batsman jags a wicket or two.
This is a gutless call from the Chairman of Selectors, and by insinuation the other selectors as well. Believe me, I have a lot of time for Joe Mennie, and do think he is going to be a valuable contributor to Australian cricket in the next few years. But is there any genuine effort to reward recent performance in cricket anymore, or are our selectors just picking favourites. Bird has done everything that can be asked of him since his recall to the Test side, and he has been cast aside with a piss poor excuse that wouldn't wash in an Under 11's representative team. Meanwhile, an under-performing so-called "all-rounder" who truly cannot make the team in either capacity is still one of the first selected. And no, it isn't Shane Watson, but it is now the exact same thing that we lived through for all those years. And while I support Nevill as our keeper, under the ground rules laid down here by Marsh to Bird, then surely Matthew Wade should be being picked as our keeper because of the runs he has scored in comparison.
No matter what the result of the 1st Test is, and no matter how well or not the individuals perform, this selection and the reason given for it has again changed the landscape of selecting the national team, and in the worst way possible. If I was Jackson Bird I'd be suing for unfair dismissal.