Forgotten Aussie quick has Ashes ambitions
TRENT Copeland, the forgotten paceman of Australian cricket, continues to show why he could be a valuable asset on next year's Ashes tour.
Copeland has been NSW's most consistent performer during the opening three rounds of the Sheffield Shield, collecting 16 wickets at 14.5. Of the seven bowlers to have snared more than 10 wickets this Shield season, nobody has been more economical than Copeland.
The right-armer, who played all three of his Tests during Australia's tour of Sri Lanka in 2011, will have a chance to enhance that record on day four of NSW's clash with Tasmania at the SCG.
Tasmania will resume their first innings at 4-115 on Thursday, trailing by 327 runs.
Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns has been on hand to watch Copeland claim all four Tasmanian wickets to fall on a slow pitch that has offered little assistance so far.
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are automatic selections in Australia's touring party that will attempt to retain the urn in England but the field is wide open to be their offsiders.
"I play to be successful, win games of cricket for NSW and if that leads to getting back into the national set-up that'd be awesome," Copeland told AAP. "But I'm certainly not holding my breath.
"I'll carry on doing what I do and that'd be the cherry on top, if it ever happened."
Peter Siddle's recent Test recall suggests the current selection panel isn't worried about age, nor obsessed about express pace.
Copeland boasts more than 300 first-class wickets worth of experience, knows English conditions well from a stint with Northamptonshire, and has proven a handful while swinging the Dukes ball in recent years.
"I"m trying to be a leader and help other guys around me, I think it brings out the best in me," the 32-year-old said.
"My job in this team has always been to be the reliable guy, sort of make the difference between my best and worst very small.
"In previous years, when Dougy (Doug Bollinger) and numerous other guys have been there to be the real strike weapons, I could sort of sit in the background and try to keep the runs down.
"It's a bit different now. I can go through phases where I'm the attacking guy or … defend."