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Bollinger could get surprise Test recall

By Chris Pike
5 December 2013 01:52AM EST

DOUG Bollinger had every reason to think his Test career was over but his improved form and fitness for New South Wales now has him right back in the frame suddenly.

The 32-year-old Bollinger played the last of his 12 career Test matches back in the Ashes of 2010 at the Adelaide Oval, but he has now been placed on standby for the Third Ashes Test in Perth and withdrawn from NSW's Sheffield Shield team to play South Australia starting Monday.

That was when his conditioning was deemed not up to par for international cricket and he has not been considered for the national team in white clothing since.

His last appearance for Australia at any level came in October 2011 in a one-day international against South Africa in Durban, so the left-arm quick had every reason to think his international career was over.

However, to his credit he is worked hard and is currently in good physical condition and now after an outstanding Sheffield Shield season for NSW, he is on the verge of an Ashes call-up.

For that to happen, Bollinger will need either an injury to Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson or Peter Siddle in Adelaide, or one of them to need a rest or indeed for the selectors to want to go into the Third Ashes Test in Perth starting Friday December 13 with an extra paceman.

Bollinger has plenty going in his favour if a spot does open up in Perth as well.

First of all, his Test record is outstanding despite him not being considered since that Adelaide Ashes Test of 2010.

In 12 matches for Australia, Bollinger took 50 wickets at an outstanding average under 26 and with a best of 5-28 against New Zealand in Wellington in March 2010.

Secondly, there is Bollinger's outstanding Shield form so far this season for the Blues.

In four matches, Bollinger has taken 17 wickets at an average of just over 25 with a best of 6-62 against Tasmania at Blacktown in Sydney.

And finally, Bollinger has always loved bowling in Perth at the WACA and has put in some outstanding performances for NSW against WA, and would dearly love a chance to have a crack at England one more time to show that he is not a spent force.

West Australian quick Nathan Coulter-Nile has also been placed on standby for the Perth Test and pulled from WA's team to take on Tasmania at Bellerive, but he failed to impress in the most recent Shield game at the WACA that the Warriors drew with Queensland.

He did take eight wickets the previous week in a win over Victoria, but he is likely to be the less-preferred option to Bollinger if a change is required in Perth following the Second Test in Adelaide.



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