Starc’s return will be huge for pink ball Test: Hazlewood



The return of Mitchell Starc will bolster the Australian team for the first Test against India as the senior speedster has been phenomenal in pink ball games, said his pace bowling partner Josh Hazlewood.

The left-arm pacer, who has the top bowling figures in the pink ball with 42 wickets at an average of 19.23 in from seven D/N Tests, will rejoin the squad on Monday after his ‘compassionate leave’ because of family illness.

“He’s a huge part of our team and attack. Everyone knows his numbers with the pink ball. We welcome him with open arms,” Hazlewood said during a virtual news conference here on Sunday.

Starc was withdrawn after the first T20I against India in Canberra last week after learning of a family illness, but Cricket Australia on Sunday has announced that the Aussie pacer was ready to return.

“I think he would be fine. Nothing goes to plan. He is a professional player and would have been doing everything he could have over the last week. He will be ready to go and jump straight in,’ Hazlewood said when asked if a two-day preparation is enough.

Hazlewood said that one thing that pandemic has taught him is that nothing goes as per plan.

“If we’ve learned anything from this (pandemic) year, that nothing goes per your plan and we’re always struggling with schedules and travel and different things. I’m sure this hiccup will be no different for him (Starc),” he added.

With vice-captain Pat Cummins, Hazlewood, Starc and spinner Nathan Lyon, the Aussies would have full strength, even as their batting faces some question marks with injury woes to the opening duo of David Warner Warner (groin) and young gun Will Pucovksi (concussion).

All-rounder Cameron Green, who bats in the middle-order, too faces injury concerns after suffering a concussion from a Jasprit Bumrah hit during Australia A’s tour match against the Indians in Sydney last week.

India won the historic Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2018-19, and the series witnessed the Aussie bowlers lose intensity after the first two Tests.

Hazlewood hopes to “swing it around” this time.

The four-match series will be live only on Sony Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six channels. (PTI)


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