Mitchell Starc    Getty Images
Mitchell Starc Getty Images

Suffering a bruised heel during the third Test at WACA, Mitchell Starc missed the Boxing Day Test at MCG. The pacer was ready to prove his fitness by refusing to drink alcohol after claiming the urn at WACA. He ditched the crutches at the weekend but was unable to train. However, a 30-sec discussion between the physio and the doctor confirmed Starc s unavailability for the MCG Test.

Starc wanted to bowl under pressure at MCG. However, the team management felt it was necessary for his foot to receive rest and not aggravate the bruise. Starc has been the leading wicket-taker in 2017-18 Ashes taking 19 wickets from 3 matches at 21.05. Starc is now targeting SCG return to play the final leg of the championship.

During his commentary stint with Channel Nine, Starc said, I am not having much luck with my front foot. Hopefully it will be good enough (for the SCG Test). It was touch and go for this one. It was a bit more caution than anything. We will see how it comes up next week … (bruised heels) aren’t too predictable. Hopefully it goes away in the next couple of days and I can get ready for Sydney.

When Smith announced the playing XI of Australia for MCG Test, he did mention about resting Starc for good and hopefully bringing him back for SCG Test.

During India tour, Starc had suffered a stress fracture on the same foot. This time around Australia want to focus on a conservative approach. With Australia touring South Africa for four-Test series, Starc s availability will play a crucial role.