Melbourne, Dec 23: Australia speedster Mitchell Starc’s foot injury could force him to warm the bench during the fourth Ashes Test against England, starting on Boxing Day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Starc’s pace partner Pat Cummins rated the left-armer’s chances of the playing the fourth Test as 50-50 and cautioned that the injury could lead to a long stint on the sidelines if not treated properly.
With an unassailable 3-0 lead and the urn already back in their kitty, Cummins said ensuring Starc is fit for their crucial four-Test tour of South Africa in the new year will be in everyone’s mind.
“I’d say that’s certainly the thinking of a lot of people; the selectors, the skipper and everyone around him,” Cummins told cricket.com.au of the South African tour.
Cummins, who suffered a similar foot injury immediately following his Test debut in 2011 and was out of action for more than four months, said it could aggravate if not treated well.
“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,” Cummins said.
In case Starc fails to play, Jackson Bird will likely come in for his first Test since last year’s Boxing Day Test, having spent the past 12 months with the squad but not in the playing XI.