In the third Test of the four-match series against India, which begins on March 1 in Indore, Australia’s standout seamer Mitchell Starc will likely replace captain Pat Cummins. With both players recovering from finger injuries, the left-arm seamer will likely be referred to as the only specialist fast bowler alongside all-rounder Cameron Green (if he plays).
The middle finger on the bowler’s bowling arm, which has been in a splint for at least two weeks, will continue to give him difficulty. While Starc claimed that he rarely enters a game without some pain, Green declared himself fit for the third Test.
“I don’t think it’s going to be 100 per cent for a fair while but certainly good enough – the ball is coming out quite nicely and I feel pretty much at full tilt,” Mitchell Starc was quoted as saying by Fox Sports.
“It wouldn’t be the first Test match I’ve played in some sort of discomfort. If I only played when I was 100 per cent I probably only would’ve played in five or ten Tests,” he further added.
Despite not being at full strength, the Australian fast stated he had no reservations about leading the pace attack in Pat Cummins’ absence while he was away visiting his ailing mother in Australia.
“Workload wise, body wise, there’s no concern at all … I’m completely comfortable with where my numbers are and where my body is at,” said Starc.
“You’ve got to be prepared to bowl at any point, whether that be looking like shorter spells but also working with the guy at the other end. (Another focus) is the footmarks that I can produce as well … I certainly produce more than the Indian guys, being heavier at the crease,” he further said.
‘Pat Cummins has got the complete support of the group’: Mitchell Starc
Starc and his family went through a difficult time two years ago when he lost his father Paul to cancer, and the Australian quickly finds it difficult to witness Cummins’ family go through a similar circumstance.
“Having been through a similar situation recently, it’s a hard place to be trying to get your head around playing international cricket, and for him to captain at the same time,” Starc said.
“We’re sons, partners, fathers and people first and cricketers second. (Cummins) has got the complete support of the group … it’s been tough to see him go through it from afar.”
Further commenting on Steve Smith wearing the captain’s hat during the third Test, Starc said that the team had no trouble adjusting to playing under his leadership once more.
“He’s done it for a long time, I’ve played a lot of cricket with Steve as captain as well, so personally it’s been pretty easy. The couple of Tests he had to do in Adelaide (filling in for Cummins in 2021 and 2022) were really successful for the group, so hopefully, it’s another great week for our team,” he said.
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