Mitchell Starc, Australia’s premier fast bowler, said he is confident of being available for selection for the upcoming two Test series against Pakistan in the UAE in October, rating his chances of playing “very highly”. However, there is still uncertainty surrounding the availability of fellow quicks Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, who according to Starc haven’t started bowling yet.
“I’m definitely available for selection, as long as it all goes well over the next few weeks. There’s not many opportunities to play very much competitive cricket before that tour. I’m aiming to play some practice games for NSW when they’re up in Brisbane if that plan goes ahead. The (comeback) plan will keep changing and developing with how my progress is. At the moment I’d like to think I’m very much available for selection for that UAE tour,” Starc told cricket.com.au.
“The body feels good, I’ve been bowling for three weeks. Once I’ve had a nice night’s sleep here at the SCG (The Chappell Foundation’s Sports Stars Sleepout initiative) I’m going to trek out to Blacktown tomorrow and do some more bowling. I think the plan is to bowl off my full run at about 85 per cent intensity,” he said.
Starc had to miss the fourth Test against South Africa earlier this year and subsequently the IPL due to a bone stress fracture on his right leg. He has made steady recovery through rest and rehabilitation, and has been bowling for three weeks. Cummins, who suffered bone oedema in his vertebrae, was ruled out of the IPL while back soreness forced Hazlewood to miss Australia’s limited-overs tour of England.
“It’s been a quick progression but a bit of a different rehab in terms of (the injury having been) my tibia and not my foot or my ankle this time. The plans were a little bit different. The three fast bowlers who are in the rehab group are up in Brisbane this coming week around the Australia A team and we’ve got some biomechanics testing as well.
“They haven’t started bowling with me yet. I think maybe both of them could be starting up in Brisbane this week. Hopefully the three of us are back on deck and available for the UAE. I think I’m a little bit ahead of the other two with my rehab at the moment,” Starc said
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