Australia’s out-of-favour fast-bowler Doug Bollinger has been surprised from his omission from the Test squad for the series in Sri Lanka as, according to his admission, he has regained the required level of fitness to play five-day cricket.
The exclusion came as an ‘unpleasant surprise’ to the 30-year-old, who felt he had sufficiently demonstrated his fitness and bowling abilities during the team’s pre-season training camp in Brisbane.
“They just told me I had to keep working on my fitness and same-old, same-old,” Bollinger told SEN Radio. “I’ve been training hard, and when we were up in Brisbane, I felt I was fit and I bowled the house down.”
Not fit enough: Hilditch
Australia’s chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch, however, felt that though Bollinger was a ‘very talented’ bowler, his fitness for back-to-back Test matches was yet to be proven despite the demonstration in Brisbane.
“He’s a very talented bowler and we think he can still get back to playing Test cricket but we need to be satisfied that he can do so at full intensity,” said Hilditch.
Bollinger’s fitness first came under trial when he suffered a side strain during a Test against India in 2011.
His injury and consequent exclusion for the remainder of the match resulted in a narrow loss for Australia and though he managed to scrape his way to the fringe of Test team, he remains hopeful of making a comeback.
“I’ve just got to do what they’ve said and just ensure my fitness is good and show that I can bowl long spells,” said the left-arm fast-bowler who also plays for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL. “Hopefully I’ll be back as quick as I can.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2011.