Mitchell Starc © Getty Images (file photo)
Mitchell Starc © Getty Images (file photo)

Mitchell Starc is confident of playing in the two-Test series against Pakistan in UAE in October after missing the fourth Test in South Africa earlier this year, and later, the 2018 IPL with a tibial bone stress reaction to his right leg. “I’m definitely available for selection, as long as it all goes well over the next few weeks. There’s not many opportunities to play very much competitive cricket before that tour. I’m aiming to play some practice games for NSW when they’re up in Brisbane if that plan goes ahead,” Starc assured

“The plan will keep changing and developing with how my progress is. At the moment I’d like to think I’m very much available for selection for that UAE tour.”

Starc had a four-month rest off cricket. He underwent rehabilitation period and spent hours at the gymnasium, and seems confident: “The body feels good, I’ve been bowling for three weeks … I’m going to trek out to Blacktown tomorrow and do some more bowling.

“I think the plan is to bowl off my full run at about 85 per cent intensity. It’s been a quick progression but a bit of a different rehab in terms of my tibia and not my foot or my ankle this time.

“The plans were a little bit different. The three fast bowlers who are in the rehab group are up in Brisbane this coming week around the Australia A team and we’ve got some biomechanics testing as well.”

Unfortunately, the availabilities of Josh Hazlewood (out with a sore back) and Pat Cummins (bone oedema in vertebra) for the UAE tour remain uncertain. Like Starc, Cummins had also missed the IPL.

Starc spoke on the current status of Hazlewood and Cummins: “They haven’t started bowling with me yet. I think maybe both of them could be starting up in Brisbane this week. Hopefully the three of us are back on deck and available for the UAE. I think I’m a little bit ahead of the other two with my rehab at the moment.”