Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc (Credits: Twitter)

Australian pacer Mitchell Starc is likely to be fit for the Melbourne Test. The head coach Justin Langer confirmed that Starc has some soreness in his ribs but he would recover in time. However, doubts remain over Josh Hazlewood’s fitness who missed the second Test at Adelaide due to side strain.

Starc suffered this injury while batting in the second innings in Adelaide Test as he was attempting a sweep and took a blow on his ribs. However, he bowled 27 overs in the second innings as Australian bowlers had to toil hard to bowl England out in the second innings.

Mitchell Starc Likely To Be Fit For The Boxing Day Test, Doubts Remain Over Josh Hazlewood's Fitness 1
Mitchell Starc (file photo)

On the other side, Josh Hazlewood is racing against time to get fit in time for the Boxing Day Test. Though the pacer has joined the team in Melbourne. He picked this injury in the first test match at Brisbane.

“Australia will manage the workload for their pacers during the series”

Australian captain Pat Cummins also missed out on the second test as he was identified as a close contact of a Covid-19 case. He has been given a green signal for the third test.

In a media interaction, coach Langer confirmed all the developments regarding the fitness of their pacers.

“It’s just (Starc’s) rib actually. A lot of the bowlers talk about when they come back to Test cricket, bowl more overs, they jam down on that rib area so he should be fine. He’s tough.” Langer said.

“If he’s not right, then we’ll look at it. But at this stage, there’s no indication suggesting he won’t be playing the next Test. We will wait and see how Josh Hazlewood pulls up, he arrives this afternoon.” He added further.

Josh Hazlewood will now work towards being fit for Melbourne Getty Images
Josh Hazlewood is racing against time to be fit for Melbourne Test (Getty Images)

The coach showered high praise for Starc. He said that the left-arm pacer stood up tall in the absence of Cummins and Hazlewood. Notable that Strac bowled 75.1 overs in the first two tests.

“I honestly thought Mitch Starc was almost the man of the match last game,” he said. “There’s been a lot of talk about Mitch Starc for the last few years but he just keeps turning up. He’s an unbelievable athlete. He’s incredibly fit.” Langer said.

His resilience to just keep coming up over and over and over again is remarkable really, and his consistency of length and the way he controlled the tempo of the game last game was a great credit to him, particularly with Patty and Josh Hazlewood not playing. He became the leader of the group. He did a fantastic job. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t get up for Boxing Day,” the coach added.

Langer also spoke about managing the workload for their pacers as Scott Boland was added to the squad. The Victoria pacer picked 15 wickets in 2 Sheffield Shield games this year.

“It’s a tough series. We all know that. Five Test matches pretty much in a row. So we’ll just manage our bowlers as best we can and we’ll put our fittest and most ready to perform out in the park in Melbourne.” he concluded.