An optimistic Mitchell Starc on Wednesday said he was hopeful of returning to the Australian playing XI for the second Test against India, starting in New Dehi on Friday. The pace ace missed the series opener, which Australia lost by an innings an 132 runs inside three days, due to a tendon damage to his left middle finger. He arrived in India on Saturday. “There’s a few boxes to tick but it’s on track … I’d like to be a little further down the road (in the recovery),” Starc told reporters.
“But it’s progressing – not as fast as I would have liked, but it’s as planned in terms of the medical stuff. I’ll do everything I can to be fully available for selection. Then it’s a discussion for the rest of the group involved,” he added.
Australia have been laid low by injuries to key players including Starc and all-rounder Cameron Green, who is also recovering from a finger injury.
The duo trained on Wednesday, bowling on a centre-wicket strip, while Green also batted for over an hour.
A call on their selection will be taken on Thursday.
“I probably had different expectations coming out of the splint than what is the reality but pushing it today, we’ll see how it goes when I wake up tomorrow,” Starc said.
“It’ll come down to how it reacts by the end of the day, how the medical staff see it, how the selectors and Pat and ‘Ronnie’ (coach Andrew McDonald) feel about it as well.” The left-arm pacer said his finger is still not at full strength.
“Still lacking a bit of strength having been in a splint for six weeks. There’s still a fair bit of restriction there, it’s progressing each day,” said Starc.
Starc had injured his finger in December while fielding against South Africa. He has had his finger in a splint for weeks.
He said batting would be uncomfortable, adding that he will field with a protective cap.
“I don’t think (batting will be an issue) so it’s going to be uncomfortable but I don’t think it’s an issue,” he said.
“I think I’ll still field with a cap on (the finger), that’s what I did in Melbourne (after he initially broke the finger). I don’t field myself in slip anyway.” Talking about the surface at the Arun Jaitley Stadium here, he said, “Having a look the last couple of days it looks like it’s prepared pretty similar (to Nagpur). It looks pretty dry.
“The groundsman said the nets look pretty similar and the two days we trained on were real low and took a lot of turn. If that’s an indication, then that’s what it’s going to be like.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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