The ongoing Ashes series between Australia and England has turned out to be particularly successful for Mitchell Starc. The left-arm seamer is currently the leading wicket-taker with 19 scalps to his name and is being credited for bowling the “ball of the century” to get the wicket of England batsman James Vince in the second innings at WACA.
But, with the Boxing Day Test fast approaching, the 27-year old has failed to recover from a foot injury which he suffered during the Perth Test and might not be included in the final team.
Fellow Australian fast bowler Pat Cummins said there is a “50-50” chance the left-armer could play at MCG. “It’s a funny kind of injury. It’s not super common, but if it’s not treated well it can drag on for a very long time. It’s a bruise pretty much where you’ve got to walk all day and bowl,” the seamer said.
Cummins added that it is necessary to sort out the injury quickly or it might cause further damage. “I chatted to him about it. I had a similar one on my Test debut and it’s one of those ones where there’s no way around it. You can’t strap it differently, you can’t bowl off the other foot or anything. It’s hard to hide. So (you have to) try and get it early enough and not try and really, really damage it. It can be a long process trying to get it right. He knows that, the staff know that and I’m sure they’ll work it out,” the right-armer said.
Starc, who missed out on Australia’s training session on Saturday, is being given a chance to prove his fitness till the Boxing Day. Cummins said that the bowler will choose not to play if he is not fit. “I’m sure they’ll come to an agreement and if he knows he’s not right, he’ll put his hand up,” the 24-year old said.
Aussies have a tour coming up to South Africa next year and Cummins said that the staff does not want the injury to aggravate further before the series against Proteas. “I’d say that’s certainly the thinking of a lot of people; the selectors, the skipper and everyone around him,” he said.
In case Starc misses out on the Test, Jackson Bird is likely to replace him in the team for the fourth Test.