Australia recall Bird for Test series against Kiwis

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Johannesburg, Feb.11 (ANI): Australia have recalled paceman Jackson Bird, who last appeared for his country during the Ashes series in 2013, for the first Test of the two-match series against New Zealand.

Reflecting on his inclusion, skipper Steve Smith said James Pattinson was unable to prove his fitness and, therefore, the selectors had decided to bring Bird back into the squad.

Meanwhile, New Zealand have named a predictable Playing XI for the upcoming Tests.

Henry Nicholls will make his debut while Ross Taylor, who is suffering from a side strain, has been excluded from the squad,Sport24 reported.

Mark Craig has also been named in the Brendon McCullum-led side as a replacement for injured Mitchell Santner.

Australia, which suffered a 1-2 defeat in the three-match ODI series, will now aim to bounce back when they take on New Zealand in the two-match Test series, starting at Basin Reserve in Wellington from Friday.

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New Zealand Playing XI : Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.

Australia Playing XI: Joe Burns, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (captain), Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill, Peter Siddle, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird.(ANI)

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