Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Test Dream Come True; A Christmas Wish Fulfilled for Boxing Day Bowler

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Test Dream Come True; A Christmas Wish Fulfilled for Boxing Day Bowler

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Chadwick and Paul Carter

FIERY paceman Doug Bollinger will realise a boyhood dream when he runs out for Australia in the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan, starting at the MCG on Saturday.

Bollinger was the pick of the bowlers in the third Test against the West Indies in Perth, finishing with match figures of 8-141 as Australia scraped to a 35-run win.

The 28-year-old's performance even won praise from Windies captain Chris Gayle, who labelled the nippy left-hand speedster the most potent of the Australian attack to feature in Perth.

Peter Siddle, who missed the WACA Test with a hamstring injury, needs only to make it through Victoria's one-day clash with NSW on Wednesday to earn a Test start in place of Bushrangers teammate Clint McKay.

But Tasmanian quick Ben Hilfenhaus has been ruled out for a third straight Test due to ongoing issues with knee tendonitis, meaning the impressive Bollinger will be retained in the Test side, and in all likelihood take the new ball again.

Bollinger, who only earned a recall to the Test XI after Hilfenhaus first succumbed to the knee injury, has made the most of his recent opportunities, claiming 13 wickets at 19.84 in his two Tests against the West Indies.

And with Gayle's glowing endorsement still ringing in his ears, Bollinger said he would have deserved to retain his place in the Australian side for the first Test against Pakistan even if both Hilfenhaus and Siddle were fit.

"Yeah, I think I do (deserve my spot)," Bollinger said in Perth on Monday.

"Hopefully what I do on the field - everything else will look after itself."

Bollinger said he couldn't wait to step out onto the MCG for Australia.

"(It's) the ultimate, 90,000 people, a Boxing Day Test - everyone wants to play that," he said.

"So if I get that opportunity it would be another tick off the board of things I want to do and can do in my life. …

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