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Mitchell Starc can’t put finger on ODI return

Says it’s frustrating feeling fit while sidelined
Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc
File Photo

Reuters   |   Published 18.06.22, 12:34 AM

Australia pacer Mitchell Starc is hopeful of playing at least some part in the one-day International series against Sri Lanka after having stitches removed from a badly cut finger. The left-armer tore open the index finger on his bowling hand on a shoe spike during his follow-through in the T20 series-opener against the Sri Lankans. He has been bowling in the nets but unable to feature in the matches due to a rule banning taping on bowlers’ fingers.

Starc said it was frustrating feeling fit while sidelined.

“There’s still a fair bit of glue still in the wound. That will start to dissolve a bit more in the next couple of days,” he told reporters. “Once we get to Colombo we’ll have a look at it again and see where it’s at.

“It’s just a matter of where the wound is at, and obviously with one eye on the Test series as well and not compromising that.

“If it’s game three, four, or five (that I play), I’m not sure yet.”

The five-match ODI series is locked at 1-1 after Sri Lanka won the rain-hit second match by 26 runs in Pallekele on Thursday. Australia have been hit with injuries on the tour and Steve Smith caused another scare when he appeared to pull up sore while running between wickets.

He had his left thigh taped and continued batting, though, and will be monitored over the next few days. “I don’t know how sore he is,” Starc said.

“After he got the strapping he played a pretty nice drive through mid-wicket, so I’m sure he’ll be fine to play the next game.”

Australia have been riddled by injuries on the tour to Sri Lanka. Marcus Stoinis (side strain), Sean Abbott (finger) and Kane Richardson (hamstring) will play no further part, while Ashton Agar (side strain), Starc and Mitchell Marsh (hamstring) have also been injured. Agar is out of the remainder of the ODI series but hopeful of being fit in time for the second Test.

Australia are wary of overloading the Test quicks during the one-day series which sees five matches in 11 days but resources are now being severely stretched.

“We’ll try our best not for that to happen,” Cummins said. “The planning was going to be for perfect preparation.

“We have the Aussie A team over here with a big squad. There’s always going to be some things that crop up, so it’s not ideal with the amount of injuries that have happened, but we’ll strike that balance.

“The Test matches are certainly front of mind even in this (one-day) series, so I don’t think much will change from what I'm going to do this series.”

Australia have at least been able to utilise the presence of the A squad in the country at the same with the lifting of most Covid restrictions making it easier to bring players in and out. Scott Boland had previously been brought across into the main touring party to reinforce the ODI squad.

The national selectors will assess the need for further reinforcements before the Tests as the one-day series continues. The third ODI is in Colombo on Sunday.

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