Mitchell Starc's injury hits Australia hard ahead of India tour
Australia have been hit hard ahead of their upcoming tour of India, where they would be playing two T20Is and five ODIs. The Aussies have announced a 16-member squad for the tour of India and fast bowler Mitchell Starc has been ruled out due to an injury. Besides Starc, fellow pacer Josh Hazlewood will also not be participating in the series. Here're the details.
Starc got back to form in the recently concluded second and final Test match against Sri Lanka. He picked up five wickets across both innings to finish the match with figures of 10/100. Starc featured in just seven ODIs last year, besides a single T20I. The series against India was a chance for him to prepare for the ICC World Cup 2019.
Australia's national selector Trevor Hohns said, "Unfortunately, scans have revealed that Mitchell Starc sustained a substantial tear to his left pec muscle while bowling on the final day of the Test match in Canberra. This means he will be unavailable for the tour of India."
Australia have recalled Nathan Coulter-Nile and Kane Richardson into the squad. Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff are the other three pacers. The management has dropped veteran Peter Siddle and Billy Stanlake. Australia will be hoping that Starc recovers in time to feature in the ODI series against Pakistan in March. His injury concerns remain a headache for the management.
Starc's form in the 2015 edition of the World Cup was at another level. He ended up as the joint-highest wicket-taker (22) and helped Aussies lift the trophy. Therefore, it will be a big blow, if Starc is unfit for the upcoming mega event.
The series is set to be played from February 24 to March 13, 2019. The first T20I will be played on February 24 in Bengaluru. Visakhapatnam will host the second match on February 27. The ODI series will start from March 2 onwards. Hyderabad, Nagpur, Ranchi, Mohali and Delhi will be the host cities for the five ODI matches.
Australia's 16-member squad: Aaron Finch (captain), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa and D'Arcy Short (cover for Shaun Marsh).