Australia’s third Test against India in Indore will see the return of pacer Mitchell Starc and all-rounder Cameron Green, who missed the first two Tests of the series due to finger injuries. Although Starc has not yet fully recovered and will be playing with some discomfort, he remains confident ahead of the match.
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However, the Australian team has suffered a setback as skipper Pat Cummins will miss the third Test, having flown back home for personal reasons. In his absence, Steve Smith will captain the Australian side during third Test.
With Australia having lost the first two Tests within three days, the team faces a challenging situation in the ongoing four-match series.
“It is good enough,” Starc said of his finger on Monday as quoted by ICC.
“There is going to be a level of discomfort… I do not think it is going to be 100 per cent for a little while, but the ball is coming out quite nicely and I feel like I am pretty much at full tilt,” added the pacer.
The 33-year-old reflected further on the nature of the injury, adding that he has been used to playing under similar circumstances right through his career.
“It is more the discomfort of the joint being restricted having been in a splint for six weeks and still having to be in a splint for another couple of weeks yet. That is probably the only part – dealing with the discomfort of it, getting the mobility back into it. That will come over the next couple of weeks and it has progressed again, it is a progression each day I bowl. It is not a concern for me, the comfort levels – it is doing what I need it to do to be available to play,” said Starc.
“It would not be the first Test match I have played in some sort of discomfort. If I only played when I was at 100 per cent, I would have only played five or ten Tests. I am happy with where it is at and I have built up enough of a pain threshold to deal with that stuff over the last 10 or 12 years,” added the pacer.
Starc, who will make his return in the third Test against India, acknowledged that spinners have been dominant in the first two Tests. However, he emphasized the significance of fast bowlers in the upcoming match, particularly as the game progresses and reverse swing becomes a factor. The left-arm quick also highlighted the footmarks he will create, which would be advantageous for spinners like Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy.
“It has been a challenge for the first two Tests. We do see spin playing a huge part having said [that,] the quicks still do have a part to play with the new ball [and] if it does reverse, being able to bowl that skiddy ball and bringing the stumps into play. There is certainly an important role to play for the seam bowlers as we have seen with the Indian guys, and Pat has been attacking at times as well with the ball,” said Starc.
“Being a left-armer is slightly different and obviously with the footmarks I can produce as well. Certainly produce more than the Indian guys with being a bit heavier at the crease,” signed off the pacer.
Australia Test Squad against India Series
Pat Cummins (Captain), Usman Khawaja, Matt Renshaw, Steven Smith, David Warner, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Ashton Agar, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Peter Handscomb, Scott Boland, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson
India Test Squad against Australia:
Rohit Sharma (Captain), K L Rahul, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat.