Cricket NewsMitchell Starc is likely to miss Australia's opening test matchup with India.

    Mitchell Starc is likely to miss Australia’s opening test matchup with India.


    The injured Australian pace bowler Mitchell Starc said he should be available from the second Test onwards in the Border-Gavaskar series against India, which begins at Nagpur on February 9. On the first day of the Boxing Day Test against South Africa, Starc damaged his bowling arm’s finger while attempting to make a catch. The third and final Test against the Proteas in Sydney was missed by 32-year-old Starc due to a middle finger tendon separation. “That’s probably likely (I will miss the first Test). We’ll see how we’re placed at the end of the month,” Starc was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press on Monday.

    “Hopefully I am there for the second Test if they want to play me. We’ll see how the finger is.” With all-rounder, Cameron Green also not a certainty for the opening Test due to a fractured finger he suffered during the MCG game after being hit by an Anrich Nortje bouncer, Australia is left short of pace bowling backup. Josh Hazlewood, though, is most likely to participate in the Nagpur match, his second Test in Asia since 2017.

    Hazlewood was in excellent form during the third Test match in Sydney against the Proteas, taking four wickets in the first innings to force the tourists to bat again. However, the bad weather caused the game to conclude in a tie. Hazlewood’s status for the Nagpur Test has also been determined, according to Test captain Pat Cummins, who said he is a certainty. “No qualms picking (Hazlewood), you know what you’re going to get and it is quality,” said Cummins on Monday.

    “Getting four or five wickets on that (Sydney) wicket. Every time he (Hazlewood) bowled he looked threatening.” Last year’s Ashes hero Scott Boland too could be in contention for a possible third pacer’s slot with Green too doubtful. But Cummins said there would be no pressure to include three quicks, as Travis Head has given him a new option with handy off-spin during the Sydney Test.

    “Over there (India), you pick two spinners. You think it is going to be quite a spinning wicket,” Cummins said. “Travis Head, Marnus (Labuschagne), Smudge (Steve Smith). They all come into it a bit more. Generally, if you’re picking two spinners you’re not expecting it to be a long game,” added Cummins.


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